The Department of State has imposed 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 visa restrictions are part of a wider U.S. government initiative to counter the proliferation and misuse of commercial spyware, which has included restrictions on the U.S. government’s use of commercial spyware that poses a risk to national security or  human rights, export controls and sanctions to promote accountability, and civil society and private sector engagement to identify innovative technological solutions to prevent and respond to such misuse, protect human rights defenders, and build victim resilience.

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Matthew Miller, Department Spokesperson

Miller says these individuals have facilitated or derived financial benefits from the misuse of this technology, which has targeted journalists, academics, human rights defenders, dissidents, and other perceived critics, and U.S. Government personnel.

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