A panel of human rights experts have called on the UN member states to place a moratorium on the sale of surveillance technology until there is a regulatory framework that protects human rights.

In a statement released Thursday, the group of experts said they were “deeply concerned that highly sophisticated intrusive tools are being used to monitor, intimidate and silence human rights defenders, journalists and political opponents.”

The experts are referring to the controversial Pegasus Project, a monitoring technology developed by Israeli-based software company, NSO Group. A media consortium investigation discovered that the technology was being used by less-than-scrupulous government actors to monitor high-profile persons of interest, including journalists and human rights activists.

NSO Group initially denied any responsibility for any wrongdoing. The group cited contractual obligations ensuring buyers agreed to limit the use of…

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