Violet Blue of Engadget on America’s quest to control the exploit market by classifying all computer vulnerabilities as weaponry:
Ostensibly, the idea with Wassenaar’s foray into intrusion and surveillance tech is to rein in both exploit and zero-day sales under dangerous weapons export rules, because they can be used as digital weapons by despotic regimes and criminals alike.
Except, as Callas pointed out, “Wassenaar doesn’t include South Asia (including India, China and Indonesia), most of South America (the only country is Argentina), most of Africa (South Africa is the only country) or West Asia (including Israel, Iran, etc.).”
Where Wassenaar leaves off is where controversy begins around domestic intent, shining an uncomfortable light on the role of the US in the cyberwarfare business and the global exploit market.
Callas explained that the new rules BIS is set to impose indicate a curious sort of overreach by the US. “Wassenaar is often a cover for things that a country wants to do. You’ve seen the things proposed by the US. I’m sure you’ve also seen what is going on in Australia. Wassenaar doesn’t mandate that they do anything, and certainly doesn’t go as far as what they’re proposing, even.”
No good will come from this. At. All.