“What is unique about the CAUSE coalition are the groups that are part of it,” Mike Rispoli, Communication Manager of UK-based Privacy International, says to techPresident. “You have organizations like Privacy International, as well as Open Technology Institute or Digitale Gesellschaft, that focus on technology, digital rights, etc., but you also have more traditional human rights groups like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Reporters without Borders. The reason why this is so important is that there’s a broad recognition that surveillance technologies pose significant threat to the enjoyment of rights around the world, not just the right to privacy but also freedom of expression.”
“However, what we are seeing increasingly is that the types of governments buying these technologies have a horrendous track record in terms of human rights. So the company's standpoint can’t just be: ‘We are selling them for legitimate purposes,'" says Rispoli. "We would like to see more restrictions and regulations in place that would prevent the sale of these technologies to repressive regimes, just like how the traditional arm trade is controlled."