Governments and non-governmental actors have increasingly used digital surveillance technologies to undermine human rights. Examples from around the world have illuminated the use of such tools to target journalists, human rights activists and organizations, and others in civil society. These tools are often, though not exclusively, developed, marketed, and deployed by private surveillance companies, seemingly without legal constraint affecting their transfer across borders. International constraints are extremely limited, though the Wassenaar Arrangement provides guidelines to limit the export of dual-use technologies. Domestic constraints are uncertain as well, both in terms of export and import.
Over the next year, the Special Rapporteur will study State and business responsibilities to limit the export and use of surveillance technologies to undermine fundamental rights. His findings and recommendations on the subject will be published in his next report to the Human Rights Council in June 2019.
If you would like to provide comments and engage in our study, please check out our call for submissions below. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2019.