The Global Spyware Crisis and How to Stop It


David Kaye

Date and Time

November 2, 2021 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


David Kaye event, the global spyware crisis and how to stop it

Join us November 2nd from 12 PM - 1 PM PT for “The Global Spyware Crisis and How to Stop It” featuring David Kaye, professor of law at University of California, Irvine, and moderated by Kelly Born, director of the Cyber Initiative at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This seminar series is organized by the Cyber Policy Center’s Program on Democracy and the Internet and the Hewlett Foundation’s Cyber Initiative. 

The private surveillance (or spyware) industry has thrived with low levels of transparency and public scrutiny and weak controls on transfers of technology. Governments offer limited information on the use of surveillance products and regulations of private surveillance companies. Meanwhile, these tools – most famously but not exclusively the Pegasus malware of the Israeli NSO Group – are increasingly used against journalists, opposition figures, those in dissent, and others. Public reporting – particularly energized by release of the Pegasus Project reporting by the Forbidden Stories consortium in the summer of 2021 – has begun to generate increasing global concern, and yet policy and law lag far behind. This presentation will focus on a human rights-based legal and policy framework for the regulation and accountability of, as well as transparency within, the private surveillance industry.

Speaker Profile:

David Kaye is a professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, director of its International Justice Clinic, and co-director of the Center on Fair Elections and Free Speech. From 2014 – 2020 he served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Author of Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet (2019), he is currently Independent Chair of the Board of the Global Network Initiative and a Trustee of ARTICLE 19.


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