The US Department of Commerce has announced that it will ban the export of hacking tools to authoritarian governments to curb human rights abuses and other malicious cyber activities.

The rule, first reported by the Washington Post and later endorsed by the Department of Commerce, will prohibit the export or resale of hacking software and equipment to China, Russia, and other countries of concern without a license from the Department for national security purposes for Industry and Security (BIZ).

The move comes after the Biden administration restricted exports of U.S. technologies – including advanced semiconductors and software that uses encryption for information security – to China and Russia in March as it continues to have a tough national security approach towards the two countries .

The latest sanctions are due to take effect in 90 days and affect software such as Pegasus, spyware that is being used by …

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