Whistleblowing Web site Wikileaks Thursday released 287 files it claims detail phone bugging and surveillance of whole populations by governments in what has been described as an "uncontrolled cancerous growth".
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange didn't mince words claiming users of the iPhone, BlackBerry or Gmail are "screwed" and intelligence contractors sell citizens' personal information. He spoke at a London press conference.
"It may sound like something out of Hollywood, but as of today, mass interception systems, built by Western intelligence contractors, including for 'political opponents' are a reality," Wikileaks says on its website.
Assange added the Wikileaks website - which has not allowed public submission of data for over a year - is being rebuilt because internet security is no longer trustworthy.
"We have been working for some time on a next-generation system, we have spoken about mass surveillance - companies boast of storing entire telecommunications outputs of entire countries and keeping it.
"There are problems with SSL security systems online. No banking transaction on the Internet can be considered secure. That is a fact. We've had to develop a system that involves offline components as well as online components."
It is believed by Wikileaks that mobile phones can be remotely bugged and intercepted by governments and every feature used without the owner's knowledge, even in standby mode. The site added the camera can also be used to take photographs of the user.
Assange said the perceived problem of governments bugging and tracking people is nothing new. "9/11 has provided license for European countries, for the U.S., Canada, Australia, South America and others to develop spying systems that affect all of us."
Asked if the public can resume submitting information to Wikileaks, Assange said: "At the moment we take things in a number of ways, but there is not a walk-in obvious process for the public [to submit]. Basic internet security has been severely compromised and we have had to re-engineer the basic security structure of the internet."
Assange believes that this global problem of surveillance needs to be fought: "We will win this war not only by legislation but we have to provide counter-surveillance tech that is open and easy for everyone to use to stop this global, totalitarian surveillance state."
The whistleblowing site says: "Intelligence companies such as VASTech secretly sell equipment to permanently record the phone calls of entire nations. Others record the location of every mobile phone in a city, down to 50 meters. Systems to infect every Facebook user, or smartphone owner of an entire population group are on the intelligence market."
Wikileaks released 287 documents Thursday and plans to release more on a daily basis under a section of its website called The Spyfiles. Last month, a London court denied Assange's appeal not to be extradited for trial to Sweden on two charges of rape. He has denied the charges.