US Government Bans Use of Commercial Espionage Programs

April 24, 2023

In a move to protect human rights and national security, US President Joe Biden has banned federal government agencies from using commercial espionage programs. The decision, which was announced on Monday, applies to law enforcement agencies, the Department of Defense, and various intelligence agencies.

The order does not specify which specific spy programs are banned, but it is believed to target products from companies such as NSO Group, Hacking Team, and Cytrox. These companies sell software that can be used to hack into computers and mobile phones, track people’s movements, and intercept their communications.

The Biden administration has said that the ban is necessary to prevent these programs from being used to violate the privacy of Americans and other individuals. The order also comes amid growing concerns about the use of commercial spyware by authoritarian governments to target dissidents and journalists.

The ban is a significant step by the Biden administration to protect privacy and human rights. However, it is important to note that it does not address the underlying problem of the commercial spyware industry. These companies continue to sell their products to governments around the world, and there is little to stop them from being used for malicious purposes.

The Biden administration should work with other countries to develop a global framework for regulating the commercial spyware industry. This would help to ensure that these tools are only used for legitimate purposes and that they do not fall into the wrong hands.

In addition to the ban on commercial spyware, the Biden administration has also taken other steps to protect privacy and human rights. In April, the administration announced that it would no longer use the controversial PRISM program, which allowed the government to collect data from major tech companies without a warrant. The administration has also said that it will work to strengthen encryption standards and protect the privacy of Americans’ online activity.

These are important steps, but they are just the beginning. The Biden administration must continue to work to protect privacy and human rights in the digital age.