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Promoting Accountability for the Misuse of Commercial Spyware

As part of the United States’ efforts to counter the ongoing proliferation and misuse of commercial spyware as documented today in the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the Department is taking steps to impose visa restrictions on 13 individuals who have been involved in the development and sale of commercial spyware or who are immediate family members of those involved.  These individuals have facilitated or derived financial benefit from the misuse of this technology, which has targeted journalists, academics, human rights defenders, dissidents and other perceived critics, and U.S. Government personnel.

The visa restrictions are part of a wider U.S. government initiative to counter the proliferation and misuse of commercial spyware, which has included restrictions on the U.S. government’s use of commercial spyware that poses a risk to national security or  human rights, export controls and sanctions to promote accountability, and civil society and private sector engagement to identify innovative technological solutions to prevent and respond to such misuse, protect human rights defenders, and build victim resilience.

The Department of State’s steps to impose visa restrictions were taken pursuant to Section 212 (a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, under the policy Secretary Blinken approved in February 2024

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/promoting-accountability-for-the-misuse-of-commercial-spyware/

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