Al-Jazeera documentary proves need for stronger export control for dangerous technology


Undercover research by Al-Jazeera shows that European companies actively try to circumvent European export controls and tried to sell spying technology to Iran and South Sudan.

Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66): It is unacceptable that European companies breach international sanctions and export advanced and dangerous technologies to countries with dreadful human rights records. These kinds of technologies are used to spy on citizens and track down dissidents and the trade in them is said to be worth billions. The Italian authorities must start a criminal investigation into the activities of the companies AREA and IPS.”

“Companies need to obey the law, but the law also needs to be enforced properly by European governments. In the past, export licences have been given for dangerous products going to problematic countries, such as British spying technology to Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Weak enforcement allows such exports to continue. This must stop. All companies need to be equal before the law. If one Member State refuses a licence, that same company must not be able to export the same technology from another Member State.”

In the European Parliament, Schaake is currently working on updating export control regulation.

The Al-Jazeera documentary ‘Spy Merchants’ will be aired on Monday evening at 20:00 GMT.