US President Barack Obama will issue an executive order today, allowing sanctions to be imposed against foreigners who use technologies to carry out human rights abuses.
The order would target those found to have used technologies including cell phone-tracking or the Internet to carry out violations.
Reports indicated that the governments of Syria and Iran have used social media and cell phone-technology to crack down on dissent and conduct surveillance.
The executive order, which Obama will announce during today's speech at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, will also target companies and individuals assisting the governments of Iran and Syria.
The report came after troops in Syria shot dead six civilians yesterday in Homs despite the presence of UN military observers in the rebel province to pave the way for a 300-strong mission approved by the Security Council.