Tuesday, February 6, 2024
Year : 2, Issue : 6
The United States on Monday announced a new visa restriction policy for those it said were misusing commercial spyware.
The policy announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken will allow the State Department to impose visa restrictions for individuals believed to have been involved in the abuse of commercial spyware, as well as for those who facilitate such actions and benefit from it.
U.S. officials say the new policy is part of a wider effort to shape the behavior of foreign governments and individual companies that are involved in malicious digital espionage activities.
Historically, these companies have been accused of developing platforms that facilitated hacks against human rights activists, journalists and opposition politicians in the developing world.
The new policy will also apply to investors and operators of the commercial spyware believed to be misused, a senior Biden administration official said. At least 50 U.S. officials have been targeted by private hacking tools in recent years, they added.
President Joseph Biden signed an executive order, opens new tab last year to curb the malicious use of digital spy tools around the globe that target U.S. personnel and civil society. The order barred U.S. agencies from doing business with such companies, limiting their business potential.
In March last year, the United States and some of its partner countries called for, opens new tab strict domestic and international controls to counter the proliferation and misuse of commercial spyware.