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US Legislation on Spread of Cyber Tools Passes after Reuters Investigation

January 02, 2020 / Reuters

Newly passed legislation will push the U.S. State Department to disclose how it polices the sale of cyber tools and services abroad. The move followed a Reuters investigation  which revealed that American intelligence contractors clandestinely assisted a foreign spying operation in the United Arab Emirates, helping the monarchy to crack down on internal dissent. The legislation directs the State Department to report to Congress within 90 days on how it controls the spread of cyber tools and to disclose any action it has taken to punish companies for violating its policies. Under U.S. law, companies selling hacking products or services to foreign governments must first obtain permission from the State Department.