Today, the U.S. Government added NSO Group, Candiru, and two other foreign companies to the Entity List for engaging in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.
While long overdue, Access Now applauds this announcement, and urges the European Union and other governments to implement similar restrictions on surveillance tech companies who facilitate human rights violations.
“This is a huge win,” said Natalia Krapiva, Tech-Legal Counsel at Access Now. “NSO and Candiru like to brag that their spyware technologies are all about protecting public safety and national security. But here, we have the United States, a major power, coming out and saying these companies are violating not only human rights, but also U.S. national security.”
To further combat surveillance tech abuse, Access Now calls for the U.S. government to:
- create new SEC rules that require robust due diligence and regular reporting by firms providing goods or services with surveillance capabilities to governments,
- impose sanctions on NSO Group and Candiru owners and affiliates, and warn investors of potential risks,
- ensure that NSO Group’s other entities and holding companies, including Q Cyber Technologies, are added to the Entity List,
- use diplomatic and trade forums, like the U.S. Summit for Democracy, to pressure states to pledge not to procure NSO Group and Candiru services, and
- hold regular consultations with civil society to identify future additions to the Entity List.
This decision comes on the heels of the United States releasing Bureau of Industry and Security export control rules, for which comments are encouraged.