UN wants better regulation of surveillance technology

Published on 7/19/2021 1:38 PM

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Monday called for better “regulation” of transfer and surveillance technologies, like Pegasus used to spy on journalists and rights defenders.

The revelations in the press about the hijacking of the Pegasus software, from the Israeli company NSO Group, “confirm the urgent need to better regulate the sale, transfer and use” of these surveillance technologies “and to ensure that they do so. strict control and authorization ”.

“Without a regulatory framework that respects human rights, there is simply too much risk that these tools will be misused to intimidate critics and silence those who challenge,” Ms. Bachelet stressed.

“Governments should immediately stop using these surveillance techniques to violate human rights, and must take concrete steps to protect against such privacy intrusions by regulating the distribution, use and export of these surveillance technologies. surveillance created by others, ”she added.

The revelations about the use of Pegasus by several countries to spy on journalists or rights defenders are “extremely disturbing and seem to confirm the worst fears about the potential perversion of the use of these surveillance technologies to illegally undermine the human rights of people” , said the former president of Chile.

These methods also encourage self-censorship by imposing a climate of fear, and “we all suffer when journalists and human rights defenders, who play an indispensable role in our societies, are silenced”, insisted the High Commissioner , reminding States that surveillance measures are “justified only in limited and clearly defined circumstances”.


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