We are now better positioned to inform key stakeholders in the region on these policy issues as we have a better understanding of the policy dynamics in each country. We can apply our experiences of having seen the best and worst practices from around the world, offer suggestions for good practice and highlight the case studies of abuses and failures. And in turn, we are now able to feed these issues back to the Western governments.
The current situation in Iran is a key example of this dynamic. For years we recommended against surveillance schemes in democratic countries, as well as their technical standards for surveillance in telecommunications systems. The response from governments was that they were democratic governments and so surveillance would always take place in accordance with international human rights instruments. What we are now seeing is that these technologies devised in Europe and North America are now part of the political arsenal of more problematic regimes, and are being abused. We will be able to feed this information back to policy-makers in other countries to warn them on making the wrong decisions and setting the wrong examples that will be replicated elsewhere.
We have been able to identify the key stakeholders, and key future partners, and we look forward to taking this large task forward.