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Lama Fakih, Who Lives in Lebanon and Oversees Work on Conflict, Targeted by Government Attack

Surveillance technology sold to governments by the firm NSO Group has repeatedly been used to target the phones of journalists, activists, politicians, and diplomats. The software, called Pegasus, allows attackers full access to the phone’s camera,…
Lama Fakih
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Governments Should Urgently Halt Trade in Surveillance Technology

(New York) – The targeting of a Human Rights Watch staff member with Pegasus spyware underscores the urgent need to regulate the global trade in surveillance technology, Human Rights Watch said today. Governments should ban the sale, export, transfer…
NSO Group Protest
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Risk of Illegal Racial Profiling and Other Abuses

(Athens) – Greece is planning a new police program to scan people’s faces and fingerprints that is inconsistent with international human rights standards on privacy and likely to amplify ongoing discrimination, Human Rights Watch and Homo Digitalis…
Police officers check the documents and permissions of people in the streets of Athens, Greece, March 23, 2020. 
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(New York) - Human Rights Watch together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and 125 non-governmental organizations and academics sent the following letter, urging Members of the United Nations Ad Hoc Committee on Cybercrime to ensure that its…
UN Headquarters
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Investigations, Prosecutions Fall Short

(New York) – The Maldives authorities during 2021 failed to adequately address threats and violence by extremist Islamist groups against politicians, journalists, and activists, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2022. Despite some…
Maldivian police secure area following a blast targeting former President Mohamed Nasheed, Malé, Maldives, May 6, 2021.
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Punishment of Dissent; Impunity

(Beirut) – Iranian intelligence and judicial authorities continued their crackdown on dissent in 2021, while lawmakers passed and debated laws that further violate human rights, Human Rights Watch said in its World Report 2022. Over the past three…
Iranians gather during a protest after their province's river dried up due to drought and diversion, in the central city of Isfahan, on November 19, 2021.
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Social Media Platforms Should Not Yield to Pressure

The final days of 2021 were marked by a particularly vicious escalation of Russia’s crackdown on independent reporting and activism. Amid a flurry of new “foreign agent” designations, arrests of political activists, and appalling court rulings…
An iPhone screen shows the Telegram account of OVD-Info
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More Ambitious Agenda, Stronger Safeguards Needed

(Brussels) – The European Union’s draft rules to regulate internet platforms have the potential to better protect human rights online, Human Rights Watch said today. But the European Parliament should be more ambitious in holding technology companies…
EU Digital Regulation
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Blocking, Oppressive Laws, Pressure on Tech Companies

(Moscow) – Russian authorities redoubled their efforts in 2021 to repress internet freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today. The government blocked popular censorship circumvention tools, experimented with novel censorship technologies, expanded…
A young man wearing a face mask checks his mobile phone at the State Russian Museum, Saint Petersburg, May 26, 2020.
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Can Advance Economic Justice, Fix Broken Safety Net, But More Needed

(Washington, DC) – The Build Back Better Act would bring the United States closer to meeting international human rights standards and begin to repair a badly broken social safety net, Human Rights Watch said today. The Senate should strengthen…
Children and teachers complete a mural in celebration of the launch of the Child Tax Credit on July 14, 2021 at the KU Kids Deanwood Childcare Center in Washington, DC.
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Donors Should Channel Assistance Via Local and Cross-Border Efforts

(New York) –Myanmar’s military junta is blocking desperately needed humanitarian aid from reaching millions of displaced people and others at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations, the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN…
A man sits at a makeshift displacement site in Demoso township, Karenni State, June 17, 2021.
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Dear EU High Representative Borrell and Foreign Ministers of the EU member states, We are writing following credible revelations that Israeli NSO Group’s Pegasus Spyware was used to hack the devices of six Palestinian human rights activists – the…
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Civil Society Groups, Experts Urge Action Against Company

(Brussels) – The European Union should adopt targeted sanctions against NSO Group, the Israel-based company that produces spyware, 88 human rights groups and independent experts said today in a letter to the EU foreign policy chief and foreign…
NSO Group logo on building
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Israel, Like China, Has Weaponized Surveillance Technology to Suppress Peaceful Dissent

Tech-enabled control of a persecuted population. Abusive facial recognition. Severe restrictions on movement. Branding peaceful dissent as “terrorism”. For many readers, the scenario brings to mind China’s mass human rights violations against…
A display shows surveillance technology capable of analyzing body motion for specific actions like fighting, theft or fall during Security China 2018 in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018.
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Proposed Law Would Improve Protections for Older People, Many Others

The window is rapidly closing for South Korea’s National Assembly to pass a comprehensive antidiscrimination law that citizens and human rights organizations have long endorsed. Anti-discrimination legislation has been submitted 11 times since 2007…
An elderly woman seated on the floor of an apartment
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This week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will give a keynote address at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Sydney Dialogue, along with Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The dialogue is billed as a “world-first summit for emerging, critical…
202108asia_india_pegasus
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Respect Net Neutrality, Oppose Bill Mandating ‘Paid Prioritization’ for Content Producers

Joint Statement  November 11, 2021 Dear Mr. President Moon, We the undersigned thirty (30) human rights and freedom of expression organizations are concerned by your recent apparent support for an amendment to…
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A Trial to Watch in Ecuador

Update: The Tribunal established on November 10 that the trial has been scheduled for January 19, 2022. An upcoming trial in Ecuador should put technologists working in the public interest on high alert.  Ola Bini, a Swedish programmer,…
Digital rights defender Ola Bini in Quito, Ecuador.