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Faculty of Law, Business, and Economics

Chair of Criminal Law III - Prof. Dr. N. Nestler

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Criminal legal human rights protection from Cyber Surveillance Technology

Goods for digital surveillance have a bad reputation for promoting surveillance measures that violate human rights in certain parts of the world. Among other things, as a reaction to the Amnesty International report on “failing EU laws for digital surveillance export”, the European Union has passed a new dual-use regulation containing rules on the export of Cyber Surveillance Technology. The amendment is primarily intended to prevent the misuse of digital attack and surveillance systems (so-called Cyber Surveillance Technology) leading to human rights violations. The responsible authorities of the member states had to be given a tool for action when technologies are used in connection with “internal repression or the commitment of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law”. Thus, the human rights protection officially moves to a central position within the dual-use regime. Admittedly, there is a union law requirement to sanction violations of these regulations. However, the domestic implementation has not yet taken place. Apart from this, it is also unclear which concept of human rights underlies foreign trade law. What concrete individual rights do the regulations have in view? What are “goods for digital surveillance”? Which sanctions could be imposed in the case of violations? And what requirements do the regulations place on the involved companies, authorities and recipients? The Chair deals with these issues in the research core theme on Cyber Surveillance Technology.

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