Surveillance technology: between money workshipping and HR compliance

Business & Human Rights : Links. Post of 25 April 2012, about “obama targets technology in human rights abuses”.

The post refers to several documents, one of them being the Executive Order signed by President Obama (23 April 2012), which bars access to the US to persons making available technology(ies) that allow Iran and Syria to commit grave human rights abuses.

It is an interesting move from the US to at last require some corporate responsability in conducting business that involves distributing filtering and tracking technologies, so that dissidents can be found out and imprisoned (or killed).

The only question is: when an executive order for China? and the others.. Pakistan, to a certain extent, India, but also many African countries..? See another post from the same website Business and Human Rights, a few days later on May 1, 2012, that refers to an analysis by Catherine Dunn at There seems to be two lawsuits against Cisco for having sold (?) technologies to China to filter and track down dissidents…

Maybe this move from the US indicates a wider trend of pushing for corporate responsability. The movement started with the environment (oil extraction and mining) but seems to spread to the financial sector and technology business (or surveillance business). See for the financial sector, the amendments tabled recently to the Financial Conduct Authority Bill which would push towards long-term views of investment rather than the short-term view of quick money and greed. Lisa Nandy, Huffington Post [UK] Another Financial Crisis Is Inevitable Unless Government Takes Steps to Tackle Short-term Business Culture, 24 April 2012 Huffington Post UK

For that point being made: Rebecca MacKinnon, interviewed by Mike Masnick, TechDirt, 5th April 2012 “Discussion On Consent of the Networked, By Rebecca MacKinnon: The Techdirt Book Club“, and on Foreign Policy website: “Internet freedom starts at home“, 3 April 2012; For an interview with the director of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, (6 March 2012)

About Audrey Guinchard

Senior Lecturer @ University of Essex (UK)
This entry was posted in Anonymity, censorship, Corporate Responsibility, Countries - US, Filtering, Freedom of speech, Human Rights. Bookmark the permalink.

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