Hacking Team: CILD asks clarifications to the government

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It’s been all over the news in the past 48 hours: a cyber attack revealed that the Italian company Hacking Team allegedly sold technology for surveillance to repressive regimes.

As civil liberties defenders, we express great concern and hope that the Italian government will provide all the explanation about this issue: these technologies are in fact often used to monitor activists or journalists who deal with human rights.

Just yesterday we sent to the Foreign Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry some requests for clarification on Hacking Team position with respect to the export of some of their software and on the performance criteria on export licenses .

Those same questions were sent one year ago by the London-based NGO Privacy International (our partners) and went unanswered. We are resending them with the support of the Italian chapter of Transparency International, and – even more so in the light of these revelations – we hope to receive clear and comprehensive responses:

  • Can you confirm that Italy has implemented Commission Delegated Regulation 1382/2014 and is now requiring that exporters of items that fall within the description of category 4A005 related to ‘intrusion software’ seek an export license?
  • Can you confirm that the ‘Remote Control System’ sold by ‘Hacking Team’ of Via della Moscova n. 13  20121, Milan, now requires export authorisation, as per a press release released on Hacking Team’s site available on http://www.hackingteam.it/index.php/about-us?
  • If so, can you confirm that an export of the ‘Remote Control System’ requires an individual license for each new end-user/customer?
  • If so, does this requirement only apply to exports after January 1st, 2015?
  • If so, what criteria is used to assess exports of category 4A005 and the ‘Remote Control System’?
  • How does Italy interpret Article 6 of Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP on arms exports which stipulates that the common criteria applies to Member States “in respect of dual-use goods and technology as specified in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 1334/2000 where there are serious grounds for believing that the end-user of such goods and technology will be the armed forces or internal security forces or similar entities in the recipient country”?