Israel outraged. Maker of Pegasus spyware sanctioned by Washington

It’s comforting to read that the American government is cracking down on the invasive Pegasus spyware technology even when the offender is one of the United States close allies. Israel.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 11.3.2021

US authorities said the NSO Group’s spyware helped authoritarian governments “silence dissent.” The new measures will limit NSO Group’s access to US components and technology.

The technology essentially turned smartphones into spying devices, allowing a user to track a target’s location, read messages, look through photo’s and even secretly turn on the phone’s camera.

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“These tools have also enabled foreign governments to conduct transnational repression, which is the practice of authoritarian governments targeting dissidents, journalists and activists outside of their sovereign borders to silence dissent,” the US Commerce Department said in a statement.

Israel ownedNSO Group told AFP news agency it would seek to reverse the move.

“NSO Group is dismayed by the decision, given that our technologies support US national security interests and policies by preventing terrorism and crime, and thus we will advocate for this decision to be reversed.”

The technology company has consistently rejected the reporting on its Pegasus software, saying that it has been designed purely for governmental actors to use in the fight against terrorism and crime.

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The US Department of Commerce on Wednesday announced export limits on the Israeli software company NSO Group, the developer of infamous Pegasus spyware.

In July 2021, media investigations revealed that Pegasus spyware was used around the world to monitor tens of thousands of human rights activists, journalists, politicians and business executives.

The investigation led by media consortium “Forbidden Stories” found that people in 50 different countries had been targeted by the malware.

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https://www.dw.com/en/us-sanctions-nso-group-israeli-maker-of-pegasus-spyware/a-59711260