NGOs call on the 41 Wassenaar Arrangement govts. to take action against abuse of surveillance technologies

On 2 December 2014, NGO members of the "CAUSE Coalition" called "upon the 41 Governments that compose the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies, to take action and address the alarming proliferation of surveillance technologies available to repressive countries involved in committing systematic human rights violations."  

They said: "This trade results in unlawful surveillance, which often leads to further human rights violations including invasions of privacy, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the silencing of free expression, preventing political participation, and crushing offline and online dissent". 

Members of CAUSE are: Amnesty International; Digitale Gesellschaft; FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights); Human Rights Watch; Open Technology Institute; Privacy International; Reporters sans frontieres.

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« Technologies de surveillance "Made in Europe" : Réguler pour prévenir les violations de droits humains », 1er décembre 2014

Alors que les 41 états de l’Arrangement de Wassenaar pour le contrôle des exportations d’armes conventionnelles et de biens et technologies à double usage se réunissent demain pour la réunion plénière de décembre…la FIDH publie sa note de position « Technologies de Surveillance “Made in Europe” : Réguler pour prévenir les violations des droits humains ». La FIDH appelle l’UE et la communauté internationale à réguler de manière effective l’exportation des technologies de surveillance utilisées par des gouvernements répressifs pour commettre des violations des droits humains. Le cas Amesys et d’autres révélations récentes au sujet de l’implication présumée d’entreprises ICT dans la vente de technologies de surveillance à des régimes autoritaires ont soulevé des inquiétudes quant à l’augmentation de l’utilisation de ces technologies par des gouvernements pour systématiquement persécuter des défenseurs des droits humains, des dissidents et des opposants politiques. Ces technologies de surveillance sont utilisées à des fins de répression dans de nombreux pays…

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3 December 2014

FIDH calls for regulation of surveillance technologies in Europe to prevent their use in rights abuses

Author: Intl. Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)

"Surveillance technologies 'Made in Europe': Regulation needed to prevent human rights abuses", 1 Dec 2014

On the eve of the Wassenaar December Plenary, where the 41 Governments that compose the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies will be meeting, and as thousands gather in Geneva for...the UN Annual Forum on Business and Human Rights, FIDH releases a position paper : "Surveillance Technologies « Made in Europe » : Regulation Needed to Prevent Human Rights Abuses", calling on the EU and the international community to effectively regulate the export of surveillance technologies used by repressive regimes to commit human rights violations.  The Amesys case and other recent judicial proceedings and media coverage of alleged implication of ICT companies in the selling of surveillance technology to authoritarian regimes have recently raised concerns over the growing global trend of the use by governments of sophisticated technological equipment and programmes to systematically persecute human rights defenders, dissidents, and political opponents. Such surveillance tools are being used as means of repression in many countries, such as Bahrain, Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, Syria and Turkmenistan. 

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2 December 2014

Rights groups: Don't send spy technology to abusive regimes, including Egypt

Author: Ahram Online

"Rights groups: don't send spy technology to abusive regimes, including Egypt", 2 December 2014

Seven international human rights and digital watchdogs have called on signatories of a global export agreement to tackle the "alarming proliferation" of surveillance technologies being sent to oppressive states, including Egypt.

 The organisations, which include Human Rights Watch and Privacy International, said surveillance technology is not always harmful, but is often used as "a tool of repression" by governments that abuse human rights.

The open letter was addressed to the 41 members of the Wassenaar Arrangement, an international convention which promotes transparency and restrictions in the export of technology, arms and products that can be used in both civilian life and the army.

"Governments with internationally condemned human rights records such as Bahrain, Ethiopia, Egypt, Turkmenistan, Libya, Syria and Iran have all purchased surveillance technologies from private companies, and have used them to facilitate a variety of human rights violations," read the letter...

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1 December 2014

Position paper: "Surveillance technologies 'Made in Europe': Regulation needed to prevent human rights abuses"

Author: FIDH

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