U.S., Australia, Denmark, Norway to curb tech exports to human rights abusers

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A general view of the sun rising behind the White House in Washington, U.S. January 22, 2021. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON, Dec 10 (Reuters) - The White House announced on Friday that Australia, Denmark and Norway would join it in an effort to curb technology exports to governments that use the products for repression.

The White House said last week it was forming the group to address "the misuse of certain dual-use technologies that can lead to human rights abuses" and ensure that "critical and emerging technologies work for and not against democratic societies."

On Friday, it revealed the names of countries pledging to work with it on the endeavor, adding that Canada, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom supported the move.

"Over the coming year of action, we commit to working to establish a voluntary, nonbinding written code of conduct around which like-minded states could politically pledge, to use export control tools to prevent the proliferation of software and other technologies used to enable serious human rights abuses," the member countries said in a statement.

The announcement was made as part of U.S. President Joe Biden's Dec. 9-10 Summit for Democracy, with the goal of helping stop democratic backsliding and the erosion of rights and freedoms worldwide. The summit invitation list did not include China or Russia.

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Reporting by Alexandra Alper Editing by Paul Simao

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