In an open letter, more than 130 organizations and experts ask governments to implement a moratorium on the use of surveillance technology

The document, signed by organizations from different countries, comes in response to recent revelations that governments have used Pegasus to spy on journalists and human rights activists

Foto: Bruno Fortuna/Fotos Públicas

Foto: Bruno Fortuna/Fotos Públicas

More than 130 civil society organizations from different countries, including Conectas, and independent experts have signed an open letter asking States to implement a moratorium on the sale and use of digital surveillance technologies such as Pegasus, a software developed and sold by the Israeli company NSO Group that has been used by governments to hack, harass and steal information from opposition groups, journalists and human rights defenders. 

In a recent investigation, Amnesty International, in partnership with Forbidden Stories, revealed that at least 50,000 mobile phones in 10 countries have been targeted by Pegasus.

According to the organizations, “given the breadth and scale of these findings, there is an urgent need to halt surveillance technology enabled activities of all Sates and companies, until human rights regulatory efforts catch up”. The signatories also say it has become necessary to immediately put in place a moratorium on the sale, transfer and use of surveillance technology. 

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NSO Group in Brazil 

In the first half of this year, the Brazilian government expressed an interest in acquiring Pegasus in a bidding process organized by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, according to a story published by the website UOL. In May, Brazilian organizations denounced irregularities in the bidding process to the Federal Audit Court.

As a result of the repercussions, the NSO Group withdrew its participation in the process. Despite its withdrawal, the Brazilian Business and Human Rights Resource Centre in early June asked the Israeli company to clarify its participation in negotiations with Brazil, but the company did not respond.  

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