New European restrictions will require spyware manufacturers to get permission from the European Union (EU) before exporting their software.
The Guardian reports that this “intrusion software” is now included on the EU's “dual use” items list, which defines the software as something, “normally used for civilian purposes but which might have military applications or contribute to the proliferations of weapons of mass destruction.” Other items include ultra-high-resolution cameras, rocket fuel and nuclear reactors.
The requirement doesn't take effect until December and sales within the manufacturer's home country aren't affected. The European Commission wrote on its website that the most recent updates reflect, “growing security concerns regarding the use of surveillance technology and cybertools that could be misused in violation of human rights or against the EU's security.”
The dual use list was updated to limit telecommunication and internet surveillance equipment.