Surveillance Industry Finally Facing Scrutiny, but Will it Change Anything?

Following recent moves to use export controls to reign in surveillance companies, members of Congress are demanding that the U.S. government now also impose sanctions. PI answers to some questions and looks at the potential impact.

Following sustained reporting by researchers, journalists and activists around the world, including recent disclosures exposed by the PegasusProject, the surveillance industry is facing scrutiny like never before.

In the latest move, eighteen U.S. lawmakers have today demanded that the U.S. government imposes sanctions on four non-US surveillance companies for, as they mention in their letter, facilitating “disappearance, torture and murder of human rights activists and journalists”.

The move follows recent steps taken by the U.S. government to use export control restrictions to restrict trade with specific companies and to call on counterparts to “prevent the proliferation of software and other technologies used to enable serious human rights abuses.”

But while such scrutiny and regulation is hugely welcome, they will only be effective if authorities take their responsibilities seriously and as part of a broader, multi-pronged solution.

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