Caulkins to file legislation to make it a felony to purchase software purchased on trade restriction list

State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) announced he will file legislation that would make it a felony to purchase any software from a company, either directly or indirectly, that has been placed on the Federal government’s “entity list,” a federal blacklist prohibiting said company from receiving American technologies.

In a statement released today, Caulkins said “Any company that has been placed on the government’s entity list has clearly crossed the line. The latest case pertains to the Israeli spyware company NSO Group. It was determined their phone-hacking tools have been used by foreign governments to maliciously target government officials, activists, journalists, academics and embassy workers around the world.”

This action follows the US Department of Commerce announcing a new rule that will bar the sale of American hacking software and equipment to any entity overseas known to engage in hacking for malign purposes. Known as the Wassenaar Rule, it aligns the US with 42 of our allies. Representative Caulkins believes this should also pertain to domestic use of such products and passing this legislation will help stem the proliferation of digital tools used to spy on our citizens.