Lawfare News

The Lawfare Podcast: Biden’s Executive Order on Commercial Spyware

Jen Patja, Eugenia Lostri, Winnona DeSombre Bernsen
Friday, March 31, 2023, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

On March 27, the Biden administration issued an Executive Order on Prohibition on Use by the United States Government of Commercial Spyware that Poses Risks to National Security. The Executive Order, as the title says, limits executive departments and agencies from using commercial spyware if they determine that its use would present a counterintelligence or security risk to the U.S., or if it poses significant risks of improper use by a foreign government or person. 

To talk about the new executive order and its impact, Eugenia Lostri, Lawfare’s Fellow in Technology Policy and Law, sat down with Winnona DeSombre Bernsen, nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council. They talked about why this executive order is a welcomed development, how spyware companies might adjust their behavior in response, and what remains to be done to limit the misuse of these technologies.

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Eugenia Lostri is Lawfare's Fellow in Technology Policy and Law. Prior to joining Lawfare, she was an Associate Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). She also worked for the Argentinian Secretariat for Strategic Affairs, and the City of Buenos Aires’ Undersecretary for International and Institutional Relations. She holds a law degree from the Universidad Católica Argentina, and an LLM in International Law from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Winnona DeSombre Bernsen is a nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council. She spent five years in the cyber threat intelligence industry tracking nation-state and criminal cyber threats (at Google and Recorded Future), and helps organize policy content at DEFCON. She is currently an MPP/JD Candidate at Harvard Kennedy School and Georgetown Law, focusing on counter-proliferation of offensive cyber capabilities.

Subscribe to Lawfare