MEPs call for bans on exports of information technology to repressive regimes

The foreign affairs committee called for bans on exports from the EU of information technology that can be used by repressive regimes to censor information, conduct mass surveillance and track people’s movements using phone networks and the internet.
“European companies and their subsidiaries and subcontractors should play a key role in the promotion and dissemination of social standards worldwide”, says the committee in a resolution drafted by Leonidas Donskis on human rights and democracy in the world in 2011.
MEPs deplore the fact that certain EU companies have given authoritarian regimes unlimited access to their networks and databases under the excuse of following the local law, as was the case with the EU-based company TeliaSonera in several former Soviet countries.
In the resolution adopted on November 6, 2012 MEPs remain extremely concerned at the lack of democracy, rule of law, fundamental freedoms and respect for human rights in Belarus, express deep concern at the detention of 2012 Sakharov prize nominee, Ales Bialiatski, since August 2011 and regret the actions of the Polish and Lithuanian officials who allowed Mr Bialiatski to be arrested by forwarding banking information.
The resolution welcomes Council decisions to ban the export of certain information technologies to Syria and Iran and urges the European Union to consider this as a precedent for restrictive measures against other repressive regimes in future.
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