From the conference “Human Rights & the International Trade in Security & Surveillance Technology – Case Study: China”, from autumn 2005:
A quick review of different Western governments’ policy mechanisms, to regulate what tech gets exported to China — especially when there might be human rights implications from the sale.
In Europe there are:
1. EU’s Code of Conduct for Arms Exports, adopted in 1998, which makes special reference to human rights concerns including specific references to international human rights instruments including the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights.
2. The OSCE’s Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons also makes reference to human rights and requires states to consider proposed exports of small arms in light of the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the recipient country. While surveillance and security technology may not be considered as “small arms”, this potentially could be extended to some tech.
3. Privacy laws and directives, which could be used to regulate China’s use of surveillance technology. Some of these include the EU Directive, the OECD guidelines, the APEC Guidelines, the Conference on Data Commissioners, and the ISO Standardization Processes.
In Canada there are other export controls:
1. The export control list is developed through participation in the Wassenaar Arrangement. The Wassanaar process revises its list of dual-use technologies and munitions annually and Canada complies with its recommendations. Other military products or technology exported from Canada require a permit that is evaluated on a case-by-case basis (with some exceptions) using human rights and other criteria. While there is no policy of embargo, an area control list exists.