The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression (UN Special Rapporteur) is calling for submissions regarding state and business responsibilities to limit the export and use of surveillance technologies to undermine fundamental rights. As noted in the call for submissions, governments and non-governmental actors have increasingly used digital surveillance technologies to undermine human rights. As such, the study will focus on the obligations of states and businesses to ensure compliance with human rights standards in the procurement, transfer and use of surveillance technologies.
Submissions should deal with one or more of the following issues:
- Information concerning the domestic regulatory frameworks that may be applicable to the development, marketing, export, deployment and/or facilitation of surveillance technologies by private companies, such as:
- Laws, administrative regulations, judicial decisions or other policies and measures that impose regulations on the export, import or use of surveillance technology;
- Remedies available in the event of illicit export or use of private surveillance technology;
- Whether the laws, regulations or policies identified are consistent with state obligations under relevant human rights standards.
- Information concerning the use of such surveillance technologies, such as:
- Details of emblematic cases of state use of private surveillance technology against individuals or civil society organisations;
- Company policies to ensure that the development and sale of surveillance technologies meet human rights standards;
- The extent to which private surveillance companies offer services to states and other actors to deploy their technologies in specific circumstances, and the extent to which companies are aware of the end-use of the technologies they market;
- Company standards or policies to monitor the use of their technology after it is sold to governments.
The deadline for submissions is 15 February 2019, and should be emailed to [email protected] under the title “Submission for surveillance study”. Submissions should not exceed 2 500 words.
The outcome of the study will contribute to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur to the General Assembly in October 2019.
The call for submissions is accessible here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].