Amnesty International Comments on the European Commission Dual-Use Export Proposal (April 2017)
Digital surveillance poses a grave threat to the ability of human rights groups, journalists, lawyers, and activists of all types to do their work. This threat may take the form of unlawful mass surveillance programs, or attempts to subject people to unlawful targeted surveillance, such as surveillance undertaken because of the protected exercise of their human rights. This unlawful surveillance not only violates the right to privacy and chills expression and peaceful assembly, but can lead to arbitrary arrest, torture or even death. Nation states have binding obligations under international human rights law to protect human rights from abuse by third parties.