Counter-terrorism ‘rhetoric’ used to justify rise of surveillance technology – UN on GEO´
14 March 2023
Some countries and private companies are using “counter-terrorism and security rhetoric” to justify a major increase in the deployment and use of cutting-edge surveillance technology, with no regulation, and at an “enormous cost” to human rights, said an independent UN expert on Tuesday.
This includes drones, biometrics, artificial intelligence (AI) and spyware, which is being ramped up in the ongoing fight against terrorism, without due regard for the rule of law, governance and human rights, she said.
Exception becoming the norm
“Exceptional justifications for the use of surveillance technologies in human rights ‘lite’ counter-terrorism often turn into mundane regular use,” said Ms. Ní Aoláin, pointing to the impact on fundamental rights such as freedom of movement, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and the right to privacy.
“There must be a pause in the use of intrusive high-risk technologies until adequate safeguards are in place,” she said.
The Human Rights Council-appointed independent expert expressed concern about the growing domestication of the use of drones in several countries, the widespread misuse of spyware technology against civil society groups, dissidents and journalists, and the increasing adoption of biometric data collection.
‘Unregulated transfers’ must end
“The unregulated transfer of high-risk technologies to States engaging in systematic human rights violations must end,” the Special Rapporteur said. She urged authorities to more effectively regulate companies involved in the transfer of surveillance technologies abroad. Learn More /…
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