Governments and tech giants unite against commercial spyware


Dozens of countries have agreed to join forces with multinational technology companies to combat spyware and human rights abuses in cyberspace.

The new joint agreement, called the Pall Mall Process, was signed by the United States, the United Kingdom, France and 22 other countries. Other signatories include the Gulf Cooperation Council and the African Union, as well as academics and representatives of 14 business and technology companies.

Tech giants Google, Microsoft, Apple, Meta and BAE Systems have all joined the deal.

Together, they are committed to combating the proliferation and irresponsible use of commercial cyber intrusion tools and services, such as spyware.

First France-UK conference on cyberproliferation

THE agreement was signed at the inaugural conference on cyberproliferation, co-hosted in London by the United Kingdom and France on February 7.

The event brought together government officials, top technology leaders, cybersecurity vendors, legal experts and human rights advocates to discuss the use of spyware and surveillance tools and services. cyber intrusion.

At the event, the UK’s National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) estimated that the commercial cyber intrusion sector doubles every ten years.

The statement said the “uncontrolled spread” of spyware offerings contributes to “unintended escalation in cyberspace,” stressing that it poses risks to cyberstability, human rights, national security and safety. digital.

Oliver Dowden, British Deputy Prime Minister, commented at the Cyber ​​Proliferation conference: “As the commercial market for these tools grows, the number and severity of cyberattacks compromising our digital devices and systems will also increase, causing increasingly costly damage and making the task more difficult than ever for our cyber defenses. to protect public institutions and services.

Greece and Cyprus have signed, Israel and Spain have not

Some countries previously associated with the development or use of spyware, including Ireland, Greece and Cyprus, are on the list of signatories.

However, some countries were noticeably absent, including Israel, Hungary, Mexico, Spain and Thailand.

The event comes two days after the US State Department announced it would deny visas to people it deems involved in the misuse of dangerous spyware.

Google, one of the signatories of the Pall Mall process, published on February 6 a full report analyze the commercial spyware vendor landscape.

Read more: US cracks down on spyware with visa restrictions

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