Commercial Spyware Global Inventory

Published: 22 December 2020| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/csvhpkt8tm.2
Steven Feldstein


Global inventory of commercial spyware procured by governments. Focuses on three overarching questions: Which governments show evidence of procuring and employing commercial spyware against domestic actors? Which private sector companies are involved? Are the operations being carried out pursuant to a repressive agenda – do they violate “principles of legality, necessity, proportionality and legitimacy in objective?” Source material derives from The Citizen Lab, Freedom on the Net, Privacy International, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Cyber Operations Tracker (CFR), and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and also includes data from major print and news media outlets (e.g., The New York Times, Reuters, Haaretz, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal). Because of attribution challenges and the difficulty of pinpointing intrusion operations within a specified timeframe, I aggregated observations between 2011 and 2020. Updated September 13, 2020.



Human Rights, Information and Communication Technologies, Governance, Democracy, Surveillance