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Photo: Thierry Monasse via Getty Images

The European Parliament on Monday approved a law to limit the export of surveillance technologies that have the potential to be used to violate human rights.

Why it matters: Such products, which may also have legitimate uses, can be used to aid repressive regimes, criminal interests and domestic abusers.

Details: The new law applies to a range of technologies, including spyware and facial recognition technology, per MIT Technology Review.

  • The rules don't ban sales of the technology, but strengthen disclosure requirements, which proponents hope will lead to fewer abuses.
  • According to MIT Tech Review, "governments must either disclose the destination, items, value, and licensing decisions for cyber-surveillance exports or make public the decision not to disclose those details."

What they're saying: "Today is a win for human rights globally, and we set an important precedent for other democracies to follow suit," European Parliament member Markéta Gregorová said in a statement, per MIT Tech Review. "The world’s authoritarian regimes will not be able to secretly get their hands on European cyber-surveillance anymore."

Go deeper

Updated Dec 31, 2020 - World

Post-Brexit trade deal with EU signed into U.K. law

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson celebrates reaching a post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. Photo via Downing Street

The historic post-Brexit trade deal reached between Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government and the European Union was signed into U.K. law by Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday morning.

Why it matters: The law will come into effect at 11pm Thursday U.K. time when the Brexit transition period officially ends.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."