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House Bill Would Ban Surveillance Gear Sales by American Firms

A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday would stop the sale of surveillance technologies to repressive regimes by American companies.

Sponsored by Representative Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, the measure would prohibit the export of hardware and software that can be used to block and track communications sent over the Internet. In addition, it would require companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges to report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission how they conduct due diligence on human rights issues, as well as how customer information is shared with repressive countries.