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UN Human Rights Council faces pressure to denounce and investigate Pegasus surveillance

Citing risks posed to journalists, civil society groups reiterated the need to hold the secretive surveillance industry accountable.

“Members of the U.N. Human Rights Council cannot allow for this staggering widespread surveillance to continue unchallenged and unchecked,” read the letter sent by 95 civil society organisations and independent experts to the members participating in the ongoing 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council. The letter urges them to “specifically denounce these abuses and mandate comprehensive measures to investigate and prevent further violations linked to the sale, export, and use of Pegasus spyware and cases of targeted surveillance”. The letter accuses the NSO Group of sticking to a false claim that Pegasus spyware is only used for legitimate purposes like investigating crime and terror despite mounting evidence of the spyware’s links to human rights abuses. “The secretive surveillance industry must be held to account,” the letter said.  It also recommended that HRC must offer “adequate financial and technical support to the U.N. Special Procedures, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and any other bodies relevant and able to execute the necessary inquiries”. The findings should then be reported to the HRC and the U.N. General Assembly.  “We reiterate the previous call made by U.N. human rights experts and civil society groups on governments to immediately implement a global moratorium on the sale, export, transfer, and use of private surveillance technology until countries have adopted robust legal safeguards to protect individuals from unlawful surveillance, invasion of their privacy, and threats to their freedom of expression, assembly, and association,” the letter said.  The Pegasus Project, an investigation…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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