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US puts visa ban on spyware abusers and sellers

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TLDR:

  • The US government is set to ban the issuance of visas to individuals who are known to abuse spyware and those associated with the manufacture and sale of spyware.
  • The ban is part of a broader effort to crack down on the sale and use of surveillance technology that violates human rights.

The United States government is planning to impose a ban on granting visas to individuals involved in the abuse of spyware and those who manufacture and sell it. The move is part of a broader effort to crack down on the use of surveillance technology that violates human rights. The ban would apply to those who have demonstrated a pattern of human rights abuses related to the use of spyware, as well as those who manufacture or sell the technology that enables such abuses. The ban would prevent these individuals from entering the United States for any reason, including business or academic travel.

According to a senior administration official, the ban is meant to send a clear message that the United States does not tolerate the abuse of surveillance technology to violate human rights. The official noted that the US government will work closely with its international partners to coordinate efforts to limit the use of spyware for human rights abuses.

The ban comes as concerns about the use of surveillance technology for human rights abuses are growing. Two companies, NSO Group and Hacking Team, have faced scrutiny for selling spyware to governments with records of human rights abuses. In some cases, the spyware has been used to target journalists, activists, and dissidents. Human rights organizations have called for greater regulation of the sale and use of surveillance technology, arguing that it can enable serious human rights abuses.

In addition to the visa ban, the United States is exploring other ways to limit the availability and use of spyware. The US Justice Department has reportedly been reviewing options for prosecuting individuals and companies involved in the sale and use of surveillance technology for human rights abuses. The government is also considering imposing export controls on spyware and related technologies.

The visa ban is part of a broader effort to promote human rights and protect individuals from arbitrary surveillance. The United States has been a strong advocate for internet freedom and has condemned the use of surveillance technology to violate human rights. The visa ban is seen as a way to send a clear signal to governments and companies that engage in human rights abuses that their actions will not be tolerated.

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