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Bloomberg Wins George Polk Award for International Reporting

February 21, 2012

NEW YORK — Bloomberg News has won the George Polk Award for
International Reporting for its investigative series that
revealed how Western companies provide surveillance systems to
authoritarian countries with some of the world’s worst human
rights records including Iran, Syria, Bahrain and Tunisia. The
award recognizes reporters Vernon Silver, Ben Elgin and Alan
Katz for their series that uncovered how government officials in
these countries now routinely use information gathered through
surveillance technology to confront, arrest and torture
dissidents.

The “Wired for Repression” series showed how companies in the
United States, United Kingdom, Germany and other western
countries profited from selling gear that allowed oppressive
regimes to intercept citizens’ e-mails and text messages,
monitor Internet activity and locate political targets through
cell phone technology. The series led directly to calls in the
U.K. and European Parliament to ban such sales to Iran. And
according to Human Rights Watch, the reporting saved lives and
spared Syrians from torture.

Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief Matthew Winkler said, “We are
grateful to be recognized with the George Polk Award for this
series by Vernon Silver, Ben Elgin and Alan Katz that advanced
the public interest by uncovering how Western companies profited
from this practice.”

This is the fourth Polk award for Bloomberg News and the third
year in a row Bloomberg has won. Bloomberg News was recognized
in 2011 for an investigative series on the for-profit college
industry, in 2009 for a series of stories seeking transparency
from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and in 2006 for health
reporting on human drug testing. Since its inception in 1990,
Bloomberg News has won more than 500 awards.

Stories from the award-winning series are online at:
http://bit.ly/yPIHzY

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Contact:
Ty Trippet, +1 212-617-2443, ttrippet@bloomberg.net