Yesterday, human rights groups published an open letter calling for an end to the Israeli company’s merger Cellebrite with a Nasdaq-listed SPAC, making it a publicly traded company valued at $2.4 billion.
Cellebrite is a digital intelligence company headed by Yossi Carmil. Its products include solutions for collecting and analyzing data from phones, computers, drones and so on. Carmil emphasizes that this is without taking over the device remotely and that the company is a world leader in its field. Other solutions the company offers include analytics tools to assist researchers in lab conditions, and research and data management tools.
The letter on behalf of an organization called Access Now and 29 other civil society organizations and individuals states that Cellebrite should not become a publicly traded company “unless it demonstrates its ability to mitigate human rights risks.” It claims that “Cellebrite blatantly admits that its products pose human rights risks,” citing human rights risks as one of the risks associated with buying stock in the company. “We know that the human rights violations of Cellebrite’s technology have reportedly contributed. The company is also well aware of the risks, but appears to continue to place these tools in the hands of repressive regimes,” the letter quotes Hinako Sugiyama, Legal Fellow at Access Well, as said. Among the countries that the organization claims have purchased Cellebrite products are Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria, Myanmar, Indonesia, India, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.
Access Now says that while the company states it has a system in place for enforcing the preservation of human rights, it does not detail that or report how it ensures that customers will not use or sell its products beyond their contracts with the company. end.
The authors of the letter specifically appeal to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission not to approve Cellebrite’s listing document, as well as Nasdaq, the SPAC company, and investors in the associated stock offering.
Recently interviewed in “Globes”, Carmil said: “A player like us is aware that its tools can fall into the wrong hands or be misused. The company has developed internal mechanisms, both technological and contractual, to ensure that this will not happen We have a department that handles the case according to internal criteria of human rights and corruption, and there is an ethics committee on the board of directors. We check every license and if we determine that someone is not going in the right direction, switch we turn off the product remotely.”
Cellebrite stated in response to the letter: “Cellebrite is committed to protecting human rights and has developed strong control mechanisms to ensure that our technology is properly used in investigations subject to the law.
“Every year, Cellebrite’s solutions help millions of investigations around the world solve serious crimes – child exploitation, rape and violence in the family, the fight against terror, human trafficking and more. Our global clients, including thousands of leading law enforcement agencies, committed to legal use of the technology to maintain a safer world.
“We only sell our technology to companies, organizations and agencies that meet the terms of our end-user license agreements. Customers who fail to adhere to these terms will no longer receive support for the product and their licenses will not be renewed. Cellebrite does not sell to countries not approved by the US, EU, UK or Israel governments.”
Published by Globes, Israel Business News – en.globes.co.il – on July 14, 2021
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