The EU Parliament has voted recently to tighten export controls restricting the supply of surveillance and encryption technology to regimes with poor human rights records.
The restrictions are the result of growing evidence that equipment being supplied by companies in Europe has been used by oppressive regimes to suppress political opponents, journalists and campaigners.
The new law will apply to surveillance equipment including devices for intercepting mobile phones, hacking computers, circumventing passwords and identifying internet users.
MEP Klaus Buchner, European Parliament rapporteur said: “Dictators spy on their citizens using EU cyber surveillance. This must stop. The EU cannot contribute to the suffering of courageous activists, who often risk their lives for freedom and democracy.
We are determined to close dangerous gaps in the export of dual-use goods and call on member states to follow suit.”