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April 23, 2012 – 10:12 am | Views: 408

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will issue an order on Monday to allow imposition

of sanctions on foreign nationals who use new technologies such as cell-phone tracking and Internet monitoring to help carry

out human rights abuses, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

U.S. Secret Service agents are pictured behind President Barack Obama as he greets audience members

after sending off the Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, April

20, 2012. REUTERS/Jason Reed

The newspaper quoted a senior administration official as saying that the executive order was designed

to target companies and individuals assisting Iran and Syria, but future orders could expand the list.

It paper said

the order noted that while social media and cell phones had helped democracy advocates organize in the Middle East, they had

also enabled security services of autocratic nations such as Syria and Iran to conduct surveillance of dissidents and block

access to the Internet.

The order will acknowledge these dangers and the need to adapt U.S. national-security policy

to a world being remade rapidly by technology, the Post quoted the official as saying.

It said Obama would announce

the move in a speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The newspaper noted it comes at a time when his

policy toward Syria — where a year-long government crackdown has killed thousands of civilians — has been criticized by

Republicans seeking the party’s nomination for the November 6 U.S. presidential election.

The Post said Obama would

say that he had asked for a first-ever National Intelligence Estimate — a consensus view of all U.S. intelligence agencies —

to include an appraisal of the potential for mass killings in other countries and their implication for U.S.


As part of the initiative, the president will also create a high-level panel to serve as a clearinghouse

for real-time intelligence, policymaking and other issues related to mass killing.

He will also encourage the

participation of the private sector through a program of grants to encourage firms to develop technologies to help people

vulnerable to mass killings better detect and quickly alert others to impending dangers.

The Post said the White House

would announce new sanctions against both Syria and Iran on Monday. It said these would include a visa ban and financial

restrictions on two Syrian “entities,” one Syrian individual and four Iranian “entities.”

Administration officials did

not identify the targets of the sanctions and say the term “entities” describes both government agencies and private

companies in Iran and Syria.

The Washington Post said Samantha Power, the National Security Council’s senior director

for multilateral affairs and human rights, would chair the Atrocities Prevention Board, a panel whose creation was announced

in August.

(Writing by Philip Barbara; Editing by David Brunnstrom)



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Obama to cite new technologies in rights abuses – report

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