The House of Representatives’ appropriations subcommittee said Congress is “concerned” about the State Department’s ability to supervise US companies that sell offensive cybersecurity products and know-how to other countries.
The proposed legislation requires the State Department to report to Congress how it decides whether to approve the sale of cyber capabilities abroad and to disclose any action it has taken to punish companies for violating its policies in the past year.
National security experts have grown increasingly concerned about the proliferation of U.S. hacking tools and technology. These days it seems that everyone is using US hacking tools to attack the world’s websites.
Recently it was revealed that the UAE had a secret hacking team of American mercenaries. The UAE programme used former US intelligence operatives to target militants, human rights activists and journalists.
State Department officials granted permission to the US contractor, Maryland-based CyberPoint International, to assist an Emirate intelligence agency in surveillance operations.
The new measure was added to a State Department spending bill by Dutch Ruppersberger, a Democrat from Maryland and member of the House Appropriations Committee.
Ruppersberger said in an emailed statement he had been “particularly troubled by recent media reports” about the State Department’s approval process for the sale of cyberweapons and services.
The bill is expected to be voted on by the full appropriations committee in the coming weeks before going onto the full House.