If you've ever wanted to enter the exciting world of online surveillance, but didn't know how to get started, your opportunity finally is here. A French computer company announced Thursday that it is selling the Internet spying software business of one of its subsidiaries. The Bull Group said it "has signed an exclusivity agreement with a view to negotiating the sale of the activities of its subsidiary, Amesys, relating to the Eagle software system; designed to build databases supporting lawful interception activities on the Internet." Amesys would love to provide a product testimonial from one of its biggest customers, but sadly, he's sort of unavailable until, well, forever. From the Wall Street Journal:
The Eagle system, which Amesys developed for Libya after signing a 2007 contract with the regime there, allowed [Moammar] Gadhafi's security services to intercept emails, online chats and Facebook messages of targets. The sophisticated electronic spying by the Gadhafi government continued as Libya's revolution kicked off in February of last year.
Unfortunately for Gadhafi, things didn't work out in the end. But one can hardly blame the Eagle system, Amesys rightfully might argue, which in fact probably delayed the inevitable for the longtime Libyan strongman. Rather than a case of software failure, Gadhafi's demise can be traced to his unwillingness to follow dictator "best practices." If Gadhafi had only adopted ITIL or Six Sigma -- and, I don't know, maybe been less brutal to his people -- he'd still be alive today, and nobody would know he wore a hair piece. Now, don't be fooled by the "exclusivity agreement" mentioned by Bull, which would indicate it has a buyer lined up. Until there's a deal, there's no deal. Besides, companies don't announce pending agreements unless they're trying to drum up more bids. So if you're eager to test your mettle against -- or perhaps sell your software to -- global intelligence agencies, Anonymous and its offshoots, Rupert Murdoch or James O'Keefe -- Bull is soliciting offers. I'm sure you can find a submission form at www.bull.com. Good luck, and happy surveilling.
Now read this: