Governance, Risk and Compliance, Government Regulations, Malware

Commercial spyware misuse-related visa bans issued by US

The U.S. State Department subjected more than a dozen individuals allegedly involved in spyware development and distribution, as well as their immediate family members, to visa prohibitions as part of the country's efforts to crack down on spyware misuse, according to The Hacker News.

No details were provided regarding the identities of the 13 sanctioned individuals, which the State Department noted to 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."

Such a development comes more than a month after sanctions were imposed on the Intellexa Consortium by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control for leading the sales of the prolific Predator spyware that has been used in attacks against U.S. government officials, policy experts, and journalists, and over two months after a policy on visa restrictions for spyware-linked individuals was introduced by the State Department.

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