Challenging the Drivers of Surveillance: Video
Powerful countries encourage and enable other governments to deploy advanced surveillance capabilities without adequate safeguards.
Countries with the largest defence and security sectors are transferring technology and practices to governments and agencies around the world, including to some of the most authoritarian countries in the world. China, European countries, Israel, the US, and Russia, are all major providers of such surveillance worldwide, as are multilateral organisations such as the European Union.
It comes in five main forms:
Surveillance technologies and practices developed and used by the most advanced surveillance agencies in the world are being spread globally, including to countries which lack safeguards for their use. Without such safeguards, surveillance is being used to entrench political control, and used to spy on activists, journalists, dissidents and any opposition.
These transfers of surveillance are driven by governments and institutions aiming to outsource the ongoing wars on migration, terror and drugs to other countries.
These processes are sanctioned without the levels of transparency and oversight required, while the few formal mechanisms aimed at limiting abuses are wholly inadequate. This facilitates serious violations of human rights, reinforces authoritarianism, undermines governance, and drives corruption.
It also diverts money and other resources away from development and other aid, instead giving billions of dollars to security agencies and surveillance companies.
Long-term security globally is best pursued by ensuring genuine democratic and accountable institutions and governments – something only possible through the fulfilment of privacy and other human rights. To do this, states and institutions must:
We are working to do three things: