Launch of CAUSE : Coalition Against Unlawful Surveillance Exports

Recent cases have raised questions on the human rights responsibilities of ICT (Information & Communication Technology) companies intercepting communications and/or providing products and services to authoritarian regimes, enabling monitoring, surveillance and censorship of communications. These cases have also proved that international regulatory measures are needed. To address this issue, civil society groups (FIDH, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, Reporters without Borders, Digitale Gesellschaft, Open Technology Institute) join together to launch CAUSE. The main goal of the coalition will be to ensure that transfers of commercial surveillance technology do not contribute to human rights abuses or internal repression. The new site is here : http://globalcause.net/

Recent cases have raised questions on the human rights responsibilities of ICT (Information & Communication Technology) companies intercepting communications and/or providing products and services to authoritarian regimes, enabling monitoring, surveillance and censorship of communications. These cases have also proved that international regulatory measures are needed.

To address this issue, civil society groups (FIDH, Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Privacy International, Reporters without Borders, Digitale Gesellschaft, Open Technology Institute) join together to launch CAUSE. The main goal of the coalition will be to ensure that transfers of commercial surveillance technology do not contribute to human rights abuses or internal repression.

 The new site is here : http://globalcause.net/

An open dialogue session will take place friday april 4th in Brussels.


CAUSE’s presentation will be followed by an open dialogue session bringing together known experts, NGOs and stakeholders working on ICT companies regulation and accountability issues as well as representatives of the EU, with a view to trigger a debate on the necessity to regulate the activities of communication surveillance companies.

The open-dialogue session will be webcast live.

The program including the list of speakers is available here.

 

EU and national regulatory framework: What is the state of play?

This first part of the dialogue session will focus on the current state of play regarding EU and national regulations. Looking at the national implementation of the Wassenaar Arrangement in the EU as well as the EU dual-use regulation, panelists will be asked to answer the following questions:

  • What does the recent revision of the Wassenaar arrangement imply for the trade of surveillance technologies?

  • Have participating states introduced new measures to restrict the sales of surveillance technologies?

  • In light of the EU dual-use regulation as well as national measures, what are Member states best practices concerning the regulation of surveillance technology exports?

  • What to expect from the current reform of the EU dual-use regulation?

 

Moving forward: recommendations

This session will look at the main challenges ahead with a view to formulate recommendations to ensure the prevention of human rights abuses and to ensure accountability of government and private companies involved. Respondents and commentators will be looking at answering the following questions:

  • What are the existing loopholes that allow European companies to export surveillance technologies?

  • How effective are export controls in preventing human rights violations?

  • Which measures should the EU take to ensure that transfers of commercial surveillance technology do not contribute to human rights abuses or internal repression?

  • What other avenues of approach are there for holding ICT companies accountable for their actions?

 

For more information and to RSVP for this event, please contact Geneviève Paul, FIDH Head of Globalization and Human Rights Desk at gpaul@fidh.org

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