A metal bird fell out of the sky recently in Mogadishu—a raptor-shaped drone with propellers in front of its wings and cameras facing down. Pictures swept the internet, along with accusations that the Somalian government was spying on its people.

It’s a reminder that governments all over the world want to use technology for spying on constituents and foreigners alike. Even as laws spring up protecting citizens against invasions of each other’s privacy, leaks and errors reveal the voracious appetite that governments have for information about what people are doing, both at home and abroad. Governments want to be the fly on the wall, and technology is helping make it happen.

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