One year after the Pegasus Project exposures, There has been a failure to introduce a global moratorium on spyware sales. Which is enabling the surveillance industry to grow unchecked.
The international scandal over Pegasus spyware, used by the Israeli authorities to spy on terrorists, broke in July 2021 after a joint media investigation unveiled that the spyware had also been used by private company NSO Group to conduct unlawful surveillance on politicians, businessmen, activists, journalists and opposition figures around the world.
Commenting upon the fairly unregulated growth of global surveillance industries , Amnesty international noted: “The Pegasus Project offered a wake-up call that action was urgently needed to regulate an industry that is out of control. Shamefully, governments worldwide are yet to step up and fully deal with this digital surveillance crisis,”
Currently, there are open investigations against NSO Group in France, India, Mexico, Poland and Spain. Nonetheless, most states have failed to mount a robust response to unlawful surveillance, Amnesty International noted.
“One year after the Pegasus spyware revelations shocked the world, it is alarming that surveillance companies are still profiting from human rights violations on a global scale… We continue to call for a global moratorium on the sale, transfer and use of spyware until human rights regulatory safeguards that govern its use are in place,” –
Under international law, states are not only obliged to uphold human rights, but also to protect them from abuse by third parties, including private companies. unlawful surveillance infringes on the right to privacy as well as the rights to freedom of expression, belief, association, and peaceful assembly.