Israel has reduced the list of countries that are eligible to buy its cyber technology. This is due to concerns about possible abuse by foreign governments – the reason was the incident with the hacker tools of the NSO Group.
Israel has been in a tough spot since July, when a group of international organizations reported that NSO Group’s Pegasus tool had been used to hack the phones of journalists, government officials and human rights defenders in several countries. The incident forced the state to rethink the Department of Defense’s cyber-export policy. According to the human rights organization Amnesty International, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were among the countries where the Pegasus program was used for politically motivated persecution.
NSO Group denies any wrongdoing, stating that it sells its tools only to governments and law enforcement agencies and is taking steps to prevent misuse. Earlier, the US authorities blacklisted the NSO Group as trading entities for selling software to governments that misused it. In response, the company said it was disappointed with the decision, as its technology “Support the interests and national security policy of the United States, discouraging terrorism and crime”… Most recently, the NSO Group received a lawsuit from Apple.