In today's age of digital surveillance, it's no surprise that even the U.S. government is getting in on the action. President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Monday that restricts the use of commercial spyware by federal agencies, in an attempt to protect the nation's security. The spyware ecosystem "poses significant counterintelligence or security risks to the United States Government or significant risks of improper use by a foreign government or foreign person," according to the order. This is a huge concern, as these tools are becoming increasingly sophisticated and invasive, able to remotely access electronic devices and extract valuable information about targets without their knowledge or consent. The order lays out various criteria under which commercial spyware could be disqualified for use by U.S. government agencies, including the risk of counterintelligence or security breaches. While the order stops short of an outright ban, it's a step in the right direction to ensure that the government's use of such tools is done in a manner that's respectful of human rights and democratic values.
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