“A terrifying insight”: How cyber surveillance is evolving around the world

They also argue that many companies that trade internationally, especially NATO rivals, are “irresponsible proliferators” and deserve more attention from lawmakers.

These companies include Israel’s Cellebrite, which develops phone hacking and forensics tools, and sells worldwide to countries including the U.S., Russia, and China. The company is already facing a significant blowback due to, for example, its role in weather The breakup of China in Hong Kong and the discovery that its technology was used by a Bangladeshi ”death squad.

“When these companies start selling their products to NATO members and enemies,” the report says, “it should raise national security concerns among all customers.”

The trade is growing globally, according to the report, with 75% of companies selling cyber surveillance and entry products outside their own continent at home. Lead author Winnona DeSombre, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Cyber ​​Statecraft Initiative, argues that such marketing raises potential management problems.

“There seems to be no willingness to self-regulate for most of these companies,” he said.

By labeling such companies as “irresponsible proliferators,” DeSombre hopes to encourage lawmakers around the world to target some companies for even more regulation.

“When these companies start selling their products to NATO members and rivals, it will have to challenge the national security of all customers.”

Governments have recently taken steps toward some form of control. the The EU has adopted stricter rules in surveillance tech last year, with the goal of increasing transparency in the industry. And over the past month, the U.S. has implemented more strict new licensing rules for the sale of entry equipment. The famous Israeli spyware company NSO Group is one of several companies added to the U.S. blacklist due to allegations that the spyware it provides to foreign governments is being used to maliciously target government officials, the journalist said. businessmen, activists, academics, and embassy workers. The NSO has always denied wrongdoing and contended that it strictly investigates abuse and shuts down offending customers.

However, one of the report’s authors says it is important to know the true extent of what is happening.

“The most basic take away from this role is that we are dealing with an industry,” said Johann Ole Willers, a fellow at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) Center for Cyber ​​Security Studies. “That’s a basic understanding. The NSO Group is not targeted enough.

warning to the UN

United Nations human rights experts have recently stepped up alarms about what they call “the growing use of mercenaries in cyberspace.”

“It cannot be denied that cyber activities have the potential to trigger violations of armed conflict and in times of peace, and thus a whole variety of rights are involved,” said Jelena Aparac, chairman of a group working on United Nations on the issue, said in a statement. The group called on international lawmakers to more effectively regulate industry to protect “the right to life, the right to social economy, freedom of expression, privacy, and the right to self-determination.”

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