MARCH 27, 2023 White House
FACT SHEET: President Biden Signs Executive Order to Prohibit U.S. Government Use of Commercial Spyware that Poses Risks to National Security
Presidential Directive Will Serve as a Cornerstone Initiative During the Second Summit for Democracy
Today, President Biden signed an Executive Order that prohibits, for the first time, operational use by the United States Government of commercial spyware that poses risks to national security or has been misused by foreign actors to enable human rights abuses around the world.
Commercial spyware – sophisticated and invasive cyber surveillance tools sold by vendors to access electronic devices remotely, extract their content, and manipulate their components, all without the knowledge or consent of the devices’ users – has proliferated in recent years with few controls and high risk of abuse.
The proliferation of commercial spyware poses distinct and growing counterintelligence and security risks to the United States, including to the safety and security of U.S. Government personnel and their families. U.S. Government personnel overseas have been targeted by commercial spyware, and untrustworthy commercial vendors and tools can present significant risks to the security and integrity of U.S. Government information and information systems.