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

Plenary speech on export controls in respect of dual-use items after the Hacking Team revelations

On October 5th, Marietje Schaake spoke in the plenary debate about export controls in respect of dual-use items after the Hacking Team revelations. Schaake posed an Oral Question on this topic which led to the plenary debate. Marietje Schaake, author - Madam President, due to the hacking by Hacking Team we now know that companies’ tools allow users to monitor and record a person’s every digital move. Think about that. Leaked internal documents demonstrate that these tools were marketed and sold to the governments of countries the human rights records of which have been criticised by the EU, including Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco and Uzbekistan. We need EU rules to know the impact such EU-made systems have here at home and in the rest of the world, and to prevent exports to human rights violators. Commissioner, we need clear answers. Has Hacking Team 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, as the hacked and leaked documents suggest? More precisely I am referring to whether Article 2(1) of Regulation No 428/2009 should have applied. Did Security Council Resolution 1556 apply to Hacking Team and similar systems? The sanctions regime established under Article 4 of Regulation No 428/2009 includes an embargo on software and technology that can be used for civil or military purposes. I would like to know whether the Commission can guarantee that Member State authorities are implementing international obligations and doing so using the same yardstick. While this particular company may not survive this particular hack and this situation, the technology that they make is part of a wider industry and it continues and the market remains largely unregulated. Transparency and accountability are needed with regard to the sales of invasive dual-use tools that endanger people. Internal policies and self-regulation simply do not suffice. We need to ensure that our policies in foreign affairs and human rights are credible, and that they are not undermined by unregulated trade that happens at the same time.
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