UN report urges ban on sale of private surveillance industry software
Concern over potential to interfere with privacy and human rights, says David Kaye
UN reports proposes legal and policy framework to regulate and ensure accountability and transparency in the private surveillance industry
UN Special Rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye has called for a moratorium on the global sale of private surveillance industry tools. He says this is due to their potential to interfere with human rights and the right to privacy.
In the report, Kaye says he is “principally concerned with technologies that enable an actor to gain surreptitious access to the digital communications, work product, browsing data, research, location history and online and offline activities of individuals”.
The UN Special Rapporteur proposed a legal and policy framework to regulate and ensure accountability and transparency for this industry in order to prevent mobile device hacking and other forms of surveillance used by governments wishing to track politicians, journalists and human rights activists.
“Kaye’s report highlights how corporations in this industry facilitate surveillance abuses, contrary to their human rights obligations under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights,” say Siena Anstis, Ron Deibert, Miles Kenyon, and John Scott-Railton of The Citizen Lab, a research lab based at the University of Toronto.