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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.

Why America's post-vaccine summer is off to a slow start

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are itching to put pandemic life behind them, but many of the necessary ingredients for a summer of carefree fun — everything from neighborhood pools to car rentals — still aren't fully available.

The big picture: Labor shortages, scrambled supply chains and simple logistics are all making it harder for a whole range of businesses to meet post-pandemic demand, and that’s making “hot vax summer” a little harder to pull off.

2021 set to become deadliest year on record for trans Americans

Data: Human Rights Campaign; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

28 transgender and gender non-conforming people — nearly all Black and Latina women — have been killed this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which has tracked such deaths since 2013.

Why it matters: At this time last year, there were only 13 known killings of trans people, per the HRC. If this current pace continues, 2021 will be on track to significantly beat last year's all-time record.