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US to impose Visa restrictions on 13 people benefiting from commercial spyware misuse


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Washington: The US is taking steps to impose restrictions on 13 individuals connected to the development or sale of commercial spyware, citing efforts to combat its proliferation and misuse, the State Department said in a statement.

“As part of the United States’ efforts to counter the ongoing proliferation and misuse of commercial spyware as documented today in the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the Department is taking steps to impose visa restrictions on 13 individuals who have been involved in the development and sale of commercial spyware or who are immediate family members of those involved,” the statement said on Monday.

According to the statement, the 13 individuals subject to visa restrictions have benefited financially from the misuse of commercial spyware, which targeted journalists, academics, human rights defenders, dissidents, perceived critics, and US government personnel.

The statement added that the visa restrictions are part of a broader US government effort to combat the spread and misapplication of commercial spyware, encompassing limitations on its use, export regulations, sanctions, and collaboration with civil society and the private sector to develop preventive measures

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