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New coalition launched to tame the surveillance technology industry

Apr 9

Written by:
09/04/2014 13:49  RssIcon

The CAUSE urges governments and corporations to take action


A range of international human rights NGOs have joined forces to launch a new coalition- CAUSE (The Coalition Against Unlawful Surveillance Exports), which aims to hold governments and private companies accountable for abuses linked to the growing international trade in communication surveillance technologies'.

Organisations involved include Amnesty International, Digitale Gesellschaft, FIDH, Human Rights Watch, the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, Privacy International, and Reporters without Borders.

The CAUSE was launched after growing concern over the lack of global regulation of the growing surveillance technologies industry-an Industry linked to multiple human rights abuses.


Reports from coalition members document:

  • German surveillance technology being used to assist torture in Bahrain;
  • Malware made in Italy helping the Moroccan and UAE authorities to clamp down on free speech and imprison critics;
  • European companies exporting surveillance software to the governme`nt of Turkmenistan, a country notorious for violent repression of dissent.
  • Surveillance technologies used internally in Ethiopia as well as to target the Ethiopian diaspora in Europe and the United States.


The CAUSE's open letter stated:

“The proliferation of these technologies allows for mass surveillance of entire countries, via hacking computers or phones, mapping, profiling and analysing social networks, installing malware allowing for surreptitious extraction of data, and mass internet monitoring and filtering through the tapping of under-sea fibre-optics cables that carry all communications traffic in and out of countries. These technologies enable regimes to crush dissent or criticism, chill free speech and destroy the fundamental rights that underpin democratic societies.”


Found out more at the CAUSE website.







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