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On December 10, 2021, at the Summit for Democracy, the U.S., Australia, Denmark, and Norway, released a Joint Statement announcing an Export Controls and Human Rights Initiative (“the Initiative”) to curb the misuse of technologies by certain governments. The Initiative aims to combat digital authoritarianism in countries where software and advanced surveillance technologies have been used to hack the communications of political opponents and journalists, shape public opinion, and censor information the government deems threatening. In…

On December 16, 2021, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) designated eight Chinese tech companies to the Non-SDN Chinese Military-Industrial Complex Companies (“NS-CMIC”) list pursuant to Executive Order 13959, as amended by Executive Order 14032, for their alleged involvement in supporting surveillance of ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang, China. On the next day, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) also added 37 new parties to the…

On December 15, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14059, “Imposing Sanctions on Foreign Persons Involved in the Global Illicit Drug Trade” (“EO 14059”) aimed at addressing the trafficking of illicit drugs, including the illicit production, global sale and widespread distribution of drugs, in the United States. A press release issued by the Treasury Department explained that the additional authority under EO 14059 builds on the Treasury’s previous sanctions authorities, i.e., in Executive Order 12978…

On September 17, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14046, “Imposing Sanctions on Certain Persons With Respect to the Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia” (“EO 14046”) aimed at addressing the widespread humanitarian conflict in northern Ethiopia. Both the White House and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken also released statements found here and here, calling for ceasefire negotiations to begin to find a political solution to the ongoing conflict in the region and…