A human rights group has filed a lawsuit before London's High Court against the British government over spy technology sales to countries with poor human rights records.
Privacy International announced that it is challenging the UK government for “unlawful” conduct during an investigation into exports of a surveillance tool known as FinFisher (or FinSpy) by UK-based Gamma International to some countries, including Bahrain.
British technology firm's FinFisher suite of software products are believed to target individuals' devices and relay information back to the sender, including the contents of emails, Skype conversations and address books.
The rights group has been lobbying for an official investigation into potentially unlawful sales of the Gamma technology.
Suggesting that the lawsuit is aimed at forcing the British government to show its hand, Privacy International's Eric King said, "If they reveal that there has been no investigation thus far, we need to challenge them.”
Earlier in February, Privacy International along with human rights groups said the Gamma International has breached Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines for multinational enterprises by exporting a spy technology to the Bahraini regime to crush pro-democracy protests.
The UK government is considered as one of the most supportive of the Al Khalifa monarchy and faces censure for supplying the Manama regime with weaponry to crush peaceful pro-democracy protests in the tiny Persian Gulf island.