Home / News

U.S. Implements New Visa Restrictions to Combat Commercial Spyware Abuse

The U.S. has introduced a new visa restriction policy targeting individuals implicated in the misuse of commercial spyware. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that these restrictions would apply to those involved in, facilitating, or benefiting from the abuse of such technology.

Counter-espionage efforts: This move is part of a broader initiative to deter foreign governments and companies engaged in harmful digital espionage, often aimed at human rights activists, journalists, and political dissidents in developing countries. The policy extends to investors and operators of commercial spyware platforms, addressing concerns raised by the targeting of at least 50 U.S. officials by private hacking tools.

President Joe Biden previously signed an executive order to mitigate the harmful use of digital spy tools targeting U.S. personnel and civil society, including barring U.S. agencies from engaging with companies associated with such activities. The Commerce Department further reinforced this stance by adding several surveillance firms to its economic trade blacklist in 2021 and 2023, among them Cytrox, Intellexa, NSO Group, and Candiru.

Broader implications: Structured under the existing Immigration and National Act, the policy covers a wide array of individuals linked to operations surveilling, harassing, or intimidating journalists, activists, perceived dissidents, marginalized or vulnerable groups, and their families. This comprehensive approach reflects the U.S. government’s commitment to combating the misuse of spyware and its associated threats to privacy and human rights.

By CircleID Reporter

CircleID’s internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us.

Visit Page

Filed Under

Comments

Comment Title:

  Notify me of follow-up comments

We encourage you to post comments and engage in discussions that advance this post through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can report it using the link at the end of each comment. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of CircleID. For more information on our comment policy, see Codes of Conduct.

CircleID Newsletter The Weekly Wrap

More and more professionals are choosing to publish critical posts on CircleID from all corners of the Internet industry. If you find it hard to keep up daily, consider subscribing to our weekly digest. We will provide you a convenient summary report once a week sent directly to your inbox. It's a quick and easy read.

I make a point of reading CircleID. There is no getting around the utility of knowing what thoughtful people are thinking and saying about our industry.

VINTON CERF
Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet

Related

Topics

New TLDs

Sponsored byRadix

Threat Intelligence

Sponsored byWhoisXML API

Brand Protection

Sponsored byCSC

Cybersecurity

Sponsored byVerisign

IPv4 Markets

Sponsored byIPv4.Global

DNS

Sponsored byDNIB.com

Domain Names

Sponsored byVerisign