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US restricts cybersecurity exports to some countries

WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (KUNA) -- The US Department of Commerce on Wednesday took steps to crack down on the sale of certain hacking products used by foreign governments and other groups to surveil and repress individuals. The agency's Bureau of Industry and Security issued an interim final rule that establishes controls on the export, re-export, or transfer of certain cybersecurity items, requiring a license to ship these products to any countries posing a national security or weapons of mass destruction risk, such as China and Russia. Users restricted from using these products, which include surveillance tools, would include governments posing a threat or subject to arms embargoes, and users who intend to use the products in a way that would compromise information systems without the owner's permission.
"These items warrant controls because these tools could be used for surveillance, espionage, or other actions that disrupt, deny or degrade the network or devices on it," the rule reads.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said in a statement today that the rule was intended to protect human rights. "The United States is committed to working with our multilateral partners to deter the spread of certain technologies that can be used for malicious activities that threaten cybersecurity and human rights," Raimondo said. "The Commerce Department's interim final rule imposing export controls on certain cybersecurity items is an appropriately tailored approach that protects America's national security against malicious cyber actors while ensuring legitimate cybersecurity activities," she added.