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World Governments Sign Accord to Thwart Spyware Abuse


February 07, 2024

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World Governments Sign Accord to Thwart Spyware Abuse

A coalition of world governments, including France, the UK, and the US, are taking steps toward building a framework to curb the use of commercial spyware to prevent human rights violations.

Agreement Against Spyware

The agreement also caught the attention of tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Meta, who joined the cause. The announcement regarding the framework comes on the heels of the US imposing a new policy to deny visas to spyware makers and operators.

Spyware is one of the most dangerous types of malware in the threat landscape, and commercial spyware solutions are no exception.

NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, for instance, is usually deployed on devices with malicious intent, aiming to help its operators eavesdrop on phone calls, exfiltrate data, perform video or voice recordings, or intercept messages.

Spyware: Not so Morally Ambiguous

Such tools often leverage zero-day exploits to gain access to vulnerable devices and usually sell for hefty sums of money. The consensus is that commercial spyware makers often market their subversive solutions to large commercial entities and global governments.

Although the tool's intent is obvious, commercial spyware makers place themselves in a morally ambiguous area, posing as legitimate companies that could help catch criminals. However, most of the time, spyware tools fall into the wrong hands, letting their users engage in human rights violations, including civilian surveillance, censorship, blackmailing, and other forms of abuse.

Several Countries Refused to Sign

Only 24 of the 35 entities attending the conference, including Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Singapore, have signed the agreement, according to The Recorded Future. Although the complete list of attendees wasn’t made public, some of the countries, including Mexico, Spain, Thailand, and others, reportedly refused to sign.

Keeping Safe Against Spyware

Dedicated software is among the best solutions to protect yourself against spyware and its devastating effects. Bitdefender Ultimate Security can help thwart spyware, viruses, Trojans, worms, zero-day exploits, rootkits, ransomware, phishing attacks, and other digital threats.




Vlad's love for technology and writing created rich soil for his interest in cybersecurity to sprout into a full-on passion. Before becoming a Security Analyst, he covered tech and security topics.

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