The new law will drive the U.S. Department of State to disclose how it polices the selling of overseas cyber tools and services.The move followed a Reuters investigation that reported that a covert spying operation in the United Arab Emirates was clandestinely supported by American intelligence contractors, helping the monarchy crack down on internal dissent.
The law orders the State Department to report on how it monitors the dissemination of cyber weapons to Congress within 90 days and to reveal any action it has taken to punish companies for violating its policies.Companies selling products or services to foreign governments must first seek approval from the U.S. law by the State Department. U.S. lawmakers and advocates for human rights have become increasingly concerned about the limited oversight of hacking skills developed by U.S. intelligence agencies being sold abroad.
The UAE system used former agents of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to threaten international competitors, human rights activists and journalists, confirmed by Reuters.Initially the secret hacking unit of the Emirates was created to help the country fight terrorism. The Reuters investigation revealed that to crack down on internal dissent, it quickly became a tool for the monarchy.