WASHINGTON – US President Joe Biden issued an executive order Monday banning government agencies from using commercial spyware that poses a risk to national security.
In his order, Biden said the US must establish procedures to ensure the responsible use of commercial spyware, protecting its interests, information systems, and not contributing to its misuse by foreign governments.
“Therefore, I hereby establish as the policy of the United States Government that it shall not make operational use of commercial spyware that poses significant counterintelligence or security risks to the United States Government or significant risks of improper use by a foreign government or foreign person,” he said.
The order requires federal departments and agencies to not make operational use of commercial spyware where they determine that such use poses significant counterintelligence or security risks to the government.
The White House said commercial spyware has proliferated in recent years with few controls and a high risk of abuse.
It said a growing number of foreign governments around the world have deployed this technology to facilitate repression and enable human rights abuses.
“Misuse of these powerful surveillance tools has not been limited to authoritarian regimes. Democratic governments also have confronted revelations that actors within their systems have used commercial spyware to target their citizens without proper legal authorization, safeguards and oversight,” it added. (Anadolu)