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Executive Order on Prohibition on Use by the United States Government of Commercial Spyware that Poses Risks to National Security

March 27, 2023 – “By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:  Section 1.  Policy.  Technology is central to the future of our national security, economy, and democracy.  The United States has fundamental national security and foreign policy interests in (1) ensuring that technology is developed, deployed, and governed in accordance with universal human rights; the rule of law; and appropriate legal authorization, safeguards, and oversight, such that it supports, and does not undermine, democracy, civil rights and civil liberties, and public safety; and (2) mitigating, to the greatest extent possible, the risk emerging technologies may pose to United States Government institutions, personnel, information, and information systems. To advance these interests, the United States supports the development of an international technology ecosystem that protects the integrity of international standards development; enables and promotes the free flow of data and ideas with trust; protects our security, privacy, and human rights; and enhances our economic competitiveness.  The growing exploitation of Americans’ sensitive data and improper use of surveillance technology, including commercial spyware, threatens the development of this ecosystem.  Foreign governments and persons have deployed commercial spyware against United States Government institutions, personnel, information, and information systems, presenting significant counterintelligence and security risks to the United States Government.  Foreign governments and persons have also used commercial spyware for improper purposes, such as to target and intimidate perceived opponents; curb dissent; limit freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, or association; enable other human rights abuses or suppression of civil liberties; and track or target United States persons without proper legal authorization, safeguards, or oversight…”

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