Access Now’s General Counsel and UN Advocacy Manager Peter Micek delivered remarks at the UN OEWG-II
27 July 2022
It is civil society security researchers who have detected the use of spyware and unveiled the scale of the global hack-for-hire sector, which is helping proliferate the use of malware and software exploits globally. [...] As part of this, the OEWG should also seek to collect and document what best practices exist at the national level for government and private sector stakeholders to engage with civil society, as well as what threats and systemic challenges may face the civil society information security community. [...] The work of the OEWG over 2022-23 must include a recognition of these attacks and add to the international consensus against allowing state and non-state actors using cyber means to target humanitarian actors, journalists, and human rights defenders. [...] We support the joint call made by Switzerland on behalf of itself and 16 other states across the Global North and South, and strongly believe an explicit mention of international humanitarian law, the role of the ICRC, must be added to the report. [...] The OEWG must recognise in its report that digital rights violations - including those taking the form of cyber attacks that enable and escalate offline violence, and the calculated attacks targeting digital systems essential to people’s safety, rights, and wellbeing are unacceptable.