U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is warning Internet and software companies to beware what they sell to autocratic governments.
Clinton says authoritarian governments are trying to use the same tools of online connection to spy on or restrict citizens. She says those governments sometimes get help from companies that knowingly sell online surveillance software or other tools.
Clinton says that when companies sell surveillance equipment to the Syrian or Iranian security agency — or to Libya in the past — "there can be no doubt that it will be used to restrict human rights."
She spoke Thursday at an international conference on Internet freedom in the Netherlands partly sponsored by Google. She did not identify any companies by name for alleged bad practices.