Export of cyber technology can be a vehicle to bring not only business opportunities but also human rights risks into trading partners. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, political controversies have arisen around EU-exported cyber surveillance technology, which allegedly helped autocratic states monitor and arrest dissidents. In response to the European Parliament’s call, the European Commission proposed, in September 2016, the integration of human rights due diligence in the process of export control. A particular emphasis was put on the protection of the right to privacy, freedom of expression, and freedom of association. The European Commission’s proposal, however, invited strong contestations both from industry and member states. Essentially, dual-use export control has developed in order to mitigate military risks. Attempts to integrate human rights risks in export control have thus invited opposition from stakeholders. As of 20 July 2018, the proposal is under the first reading before the Council of the EU. Regardless of the EU’s legislative outcomes, the fact that the Commission’s initiatives invited a great deal of resistance is intriguing in itself. Contestations levelled against the proposal reveal some of the pragmatic obstacles that the EU encounters in achieving its rights-based international trade.
Friday, October 26, 2018
Kanetake: The EU’s Export Control of Cyber Surveillance Technology: Human Rights Approaches
Machiko Kanetake (Utrecht Univ. – Law) has published The EU’s Export Control of Cyber Surveillance Technology: Human Rights Approaches (Business and Human Rights Journal, forthcoming). Here’s the abstract: