They argue that many companies that sell internationally, particularly to NATO adversaries, are "irresponsible propagators" and should be given more attention by policymakers.
Cellebrite in Israel, which is a developer of forensics and phone hacking tools, is one example. It sells its products all over the globe to countries like the US, Russia and China. This company has already been subject to significant criticism, including its involvement in China's crackdown on Hong Kong and its discovery that its technology was being used for terrorist purposes by Bangladeshi "death squads".
According to the report, "when these firms start to sell their products to both NATO members as well as adversaries," it should raise national security concerns among all customers.
According to the report, 75% of cyber surveillance and intrusion product sellers are outside their home country. Winnona deSombre, lead author and fellow at the Atlantic Council's Cyber Statecraft Initiative argues that these sales could indicate problems with oversight.
She says, "There doesn't seem to be a willingness for the majority of these companies to self-regulate."
DeSombre hopes that by marking these firms "irresponsible proliferationrs", he will encourage legislators around the globe to focus on some companies and provide more regulation.
"When these companies begin to sell their products to NATO members as well as adversaries, it should raise national security concerns among all customers."
Recent moves by governments towards some forms of control have been made. With the aim of improving transparency in the industry, the EU has adopted tougher surveillance tech rules last year. The US has also enacted new licensing rules that make it harder to sell intrusion tools. NSO Group, an Israeli spyware company, was added to the US blacklist after it was alleged that spyware it provided to foreign governments was used to maliciously target journalists, government officials, businesspeople, academics, activists, academics, diplomats and journalists. NSO Group has always denied any wrongdoing, arguing that it only investigates abuses and closes off customers who are infringing.
However, one of the authors of the report says that it is important to understand the true extent of what is occurring.
Johann Ole Willers (a fellow at NUPI Centre for Cyber Security Studies) says, "The most fundamental takeaway from this article is that we deal with an industry." "That is a fundamental insight. It is not enough to target NSO Group.
Recent alarming remarks by United Nations human rights specialists regarding "growing use of cyberspace mercenaries" were made.
Jelena Abarc, the chairperson of the United Nations working group on cyber-activities, stated in a statement that "it is undeniable" that cyber-activities can cause violations in both armed conflict and peacetime. It urged international lawmakers to regulate the industry more effectively to ensure "the right of life, economic and social rights, freedom to express, privacy, and self-determination."