Legal Correspondent: Rima Mondal
August 12, 2021: The United Nations Human Rights experts requested all the worldwide countries to stop the sale and transfer of surveillance technology temporarily. They proclaimed that a temporary global suspension should be called for until some international regulations regarding the human rights of the people are not made. They also stated that, “It is highly dangerous and irresponsible to allow the surveillance technology and trade sector to operate as a human rights free zone.” The recent allegations made against the Central Government of India that Israeli-made Pegasus spyware was being used by them to surveil politicians, journalists and human rights activists led to this decision of the UN.
According to the experts, each and every State around the world should adopt a strong legal protection to ensure the citizens their human rights because this kind of surveillance violate the basic fundamental rights of an individual that is the right to privacy, freedom and expression.
The Cyber surveillance company NSO Group stated that the reports and misuse about Pegasus is wrong and misunderstood, to which the UN Human Rights Experts said that such cyber surveillance across the world shows the negligence of human rights by the NSO Group and if they want to be trustworthy company then they should disclose their reports of transaction and whether they conduct such transfer abiding by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
In the list of potential targets of the spyware shared by the experts includes French President Emmanuel Macron, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, at least 40 Indian journalists, 2 Union Ministers, virologist Gagandeep Kang, ex-Supreme Court staffer and Former Election Commissioner of India Ashok Lavasa.
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