According to the commerce department “Transnational repression is the practise of authoritarian governments targeting dissidents, journalists and activists outside of their sovereign borders to silence dissent. These tools have also enabled foreign governments to conduct transnational repression.”
The US Commerce Department added four organisations to a list of entities participating in “malicious cyber activities” on Wednesday including Israel-based spyware companies NSO Group and Candiru.
The two companies were added to the list as a result of evidence that “these entities developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used these tools to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businesspeople, activists, academics, and embassy workers,” according to the agency.
Positive Technologies (Russia) and Computer Security Initiative Consultancy PTE. LTD. (Singapore) were added to the Entity List after it was discovered that they traffic in cyber tools that are used to gain unauthorised access to information systems, endangering the privacy and security of individuals and organisations around the world.
The Entity List is a tool used by the BIS to limit the export, reexport and in-country transfer of items subject to the EAR to persons (individuals, organisations, and companies) who are reasonably believed to be involved have been involved or becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the US national security.
BIS establishes a licence requirement for the four entities added to the Entity List in this final rule which applies to all items subject to the EAR. Furthermore, there are no licencing exclusions for exports, reexports or transfers (in-country) to the entities added to the Entity List under this rule.
United states Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo concluded that , “The United States is committed to aggressively using export controls to hold companies accountable that develop, traffic, or use technologies to conduct malicious activities that threaten the cybersecurity of members of civil society, dissidents, government officials, and organisations here and abroad.”