This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Oral Question on export controls and Hacking Team

On October 5th, the European Parliament debated Marietje Schaake's oral question on export controls in respect of dual-use items after the Hacking Team revelations. Export controls in respect of dual-use items after the Hacking Team revelations This summer witnessed the hacking of Hacking Team, an Italian company that sells spyware all over the world. These tools allow governments and other users to monitor and record a person’s every digital move. Leaked internal documents demonstrate that these tools were marketed and sold to the governments of countries whose human rights records the EU has criticised, including Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco and Uzbekistan. Documents also indicate that Hacking Team might have violated EU sanctions against Russia and Sudan by selling systems that can be used to violate the human rights of journalists, political opponents and human rights activists. While this particular company may disappear after this hack, the technology they trade and the wider industry they belong to, will continue. This market remains largely unregulated. Transparency and accountability are needed with regard to the sale of these privacy-invasive dual-use tools. Internal due diligence policies and self-regulation efforts are not enough to prevent the marketing and sale of these systems from the EU to some of the world’s worst human rights abusers. The EU’s condemnation of human rights violations in third countries will never be credible if it allows the sale of products that enable these violations. 1. How does the Commission envisage addressing the specific problem of the export of surveillance technologies from the EU, including the difference in interpretations by different Member State authorities? 2. How does the Commission assess the effectiveness of the current Regulation No 428/2009 in light of the revelations of Hacking Team? Does the Commission believe Hacking Team has violated the EU sanctions regimes against Russia and Sudan? 3. How does the Commission intend to avoid creating unduly stringent controls or excessive bureaucratic burdens on security testing tools which can hinder research? Link:
Plenary video See also: Real digital security: how to modernize the EU´s export control regime and the trade in zero-day vulnerabilities 07-07-2015 Written Questions on the Italian company Hacking Team’s potential violations of EU sanctions 06-07-2015 Blog: Hacking Team company at receiving end of hacks