Digital attacks against human rights defenders, journalists and civil society are on the rise. Their digital devices are hacked they can be spied on, silenced, and intimidated. This must stop.
In some countries it is dangerous and risky to speak out for human rights and expose the truth. Governments often intimidate, harass and arrest people – and increasingly rely on digital surveillance to do it. Governments across the world are buying and allowing the sale of sophisticated and intrusive surveillance technology that can compromise anybody’s digital devices and monitor their activity. These tools are made and sold by private companies who are making profits at times off human right abuses.
Governments and companies say that these surveillance tools are only used to target ‘criminals and terrorists’. But in reality, human rights defenders across the world – including an Amnesty International staff member – have been unlawfully targeted with spyware.
Governments, such as the Moroccan, and allegedly Saudi Arabian and the UAE governments, have repeatedly, unlawfully targeted activists and civil society. Yet states around the world continue to turn a blind eye and allow the export of surveillance technology to these and other governments despite their track record of using spyware to violate human rights.
Exports of surveillance technology to governments that unlawfully use these tools must stop.
The former UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and opinion has even called for a global moratorium – a halt the sale and transfer of surveillance technology – until there is a proper human rights regulatory framework in place that protects human rights defenders and civil society from the misuse of these tools.
Together, let’s demand an end to the unlawful surveillance of human rights defenders. Sign the petition and demand that:
- Governments ensure that these tools are not used to unlawfully target human rights defenders and civil society;
- Exports of surveillance technology to states such as Morocco, where there is a substantial risk that the export in question could be used to violate human rights, are stopped;
- All governments worldwide support the call for the global sale, transfer and use of surveillance technology to be temporarily paused.
Your signature will put pressure on governments globally to action these demands and protect human rights defenders around the world.