View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
  2. Cybersecurity
December 26, 2012

Human rights campaigners call for probe into UK spyware firm

The surveillance tech firm denies selling to oppressive regimes and says it meets all the rules of export controls.

By CBR Staff Writer

Human rights campaigner Privacy International has called HM Revenue & Customs for a probe into the UK based surveillance technology firm Gamma International, which is alleged to be exporting prohibited surveillance products without licences to organisations with poor human rights records.

The surveillance tech firm however denies selling to oppressive regimes and says it meets all the rules of export controls.

According to the campaign group Privacy International, the equipments sold by the surveillance tech firm have been used to collect information on activists targeted by the repressive regimes.

The campaign group has also demanded greater limits on the export of surveillance products, which are increasingly being deployed, but exported with reduced level of restrictions compared to traditional weapons.

Privacy International head of research Eric King said that the group welcomes Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) acknowledgement that exports of Gamma International’s FinSpy should be controlled.

"It is an extremely dangerous tool that until now they have been selling to repressive regimes with impunity," King said.

"Now it is up to HM Revenue & Customs to demonstrate that it can quickly and effectively lay down the law.

Content from our partners
Rethinking cloud: challenging assumptions, learning lessons
DTX Manchester welcomes leading tech talent from across the region and beyond
The hidden complexities of deploying AI in your business

"Every day that exports of FinSpy go unchecked further jeopardises the work and lives of human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists."

Gamma International alleges that its surveillance technology offers offensive techniques for information gathering and can gather intercepts of texts, phone and Skype calls, log keystrokes and copy files.

In August 2012, BIS notified Gamma International that its FinSpy products, designed to use controlled cryptography required a licence to export to all destinations beyond the European Union, while has also confirmed the firm had submitted a control list classification (CLC) investigation.

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.