GENEVA (Reuters) – The world should impose a moratorium on the sale and use of surveillance software is it until there are rules in place to stop the government using it to spy on their opponents and critics, a U. N. expert has suggested.
David Kaye, the U. N. special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, submitted its recommendations in a report issued on Tuesday, the U. N. human Rights Council, which will be the opening of a three-week session of the following week.
Kaye told me that he had received detailed testimony about the government use of spyware is being developed and funded by private companies, but the market has been shrouded in a veil of secrecy.
“The security of a specific person, often to journalists, activists, opposition figures, critics, and others, in the exercise of their right to freedom of speech and expression, has been shown to result in an arbitrary detention, and sometimes, to torture and possibly extra-judicial killings,” he wrote.
“Member states should impose an immediate moratorium on the export, sale, transfer, use, or maintenance of privately developed surveillance tools for a human rights-compliant safeguard regime is in place.”
Kaye cited the examples of Pegasus and spyware, which is produced by the Israel of the NSO Group, which, he said, had been identified as being used for the purpose of people in more than 45 countries, and FinSpy, which is also known as FinFisher, produced by the German-British Gamma Group of companies.
None of the company immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
Kaye says the system is for surveillance, it was “hardly exists,” and that there was a so-called “special risk of abuse”.
Mostly cloudy, it was the “vulnerabilities market”, where governments may exploit flaws in commercial software to have access to individual communications, as well as devices, without the knowledge of either the device or the software manufacturer’s instructions.
The governments were to perform the supervision without fear of any legal repercussions, and the companies will not be able to meet even the most basic of principles for the protection of the rights of man, of the people who have been affected by their products and services.
“It’s a digital control, it is no longer the sole prerogative of the countries, which enjoy the means to control the behavior of the mass and targeted surveillance is based on in-house tools. The private sector has stepped in, and without control, and with something close to impunity.”
Reporting by Tom Miles; editing by John Stonestreet