State Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Chambana) is pushing legislation what would make purchasing software from any company placed on the government’s “entity list” a felony offense. Companies listed on the federal blacklist are considered banned from receiving American technologies.

“Any company that has been placed on the government’s entity list has clearly crossed the line,” Caulkins said in a press release where he held up Israeli spyware company NSO Group as an example.

“It was determined their phone-hacking tools have been used by foreign governments to maliciously target government officials, activists, journalists, academics and embassy workers around the world,” he said.

Caulkins' actions also come after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a new rule that will prohibit the sale of American hacking software and equipment to any overseas entity known to take part in hacking for malign purposes.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry recently placed four additional foreign companies on the entity list on the grounds they engaged in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. Government officials said the four entities are based in Israel, Russia, and Singapore.

NSO Group and Candiru (Israel) were both added to the entity list after government officials said evidence emerged showing that the two entities developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments which was used for maliciously targeting government officials, journalists, businesspeople, activists, academics, and embassy workers.

“The United States is committed to aggressively using export controls to hold companies accountable that develop, traffic, or use technologies to conduct malicious activities that threaten the cybersecurity of members of civil society, dissidents, government officials, and organizations here and abroad,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement.

The Commerce Department recently announced a long-awaited rule that government staffers hope will serve to slow the export or resale of hacking tools to China and Russia while still enabling cybersecurity collaboration across borders.

Set to go into effect in 90 days, the measure would cover software such as Pegasus, a potent spyware product known to be sold by NSO Group to governments that have used it to spy on dissidents and journalists.

The rule will also put the U.S. in step with the 42 European and other allies that are members of the Wassenaar Arrangement, which sets voluntary export control policies on military and dual-use technologies — or products that can be used for both civilian and military purposes. More recently, Wassenaar members banded to add products that stretch into the world of cyber intrusions to the list of controls.