Israel puts a stop to IT companies after Pegasus affair: they will only be able to have relations with 37 countries


The Israeli Ministry of Defense drastically reduced the number of countries businesses can sell to computer science amid the global fallout on the Israeli spyware company ONS Group. Before signing the Contract all Israeli companies dealing in defense-related products and materials will need to obtain a favorable opinion from the ministry. The updated November list includes 37 countries, against 102 in October. Countries with questionable precedents for human rights, including new allies from Israel, as the Morocco they or they United Arab Emirates, they have been deleted. Likewise Saudi Arabia And Mexico.

Saudis would have used it Pegasus spyware of ONS to watch Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post reporter killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Mexico has also widely used this technology for monitoring journalists And activists rights, of which 59 have been killed or have mysteriously disappeared since 2019. However, theIndia, who has also been accused of using ONS technology on journalists, opposition politicians and activists, remains on the updated list.

The new rules are expected to deal a severe blow to Israel’s information technology industry. NSO Group has faced a torrent of international criticism over aid allegations Governments spy on dissidents and human rights activists. NSO insists that its product is only intended to help countries fight the criminality and the terrorism, but he does not hesitate to sell “his” product to countries that are not very democratic. The company’s flagship spyware, Pegasus, is considered one of the most powerful tools in computer monitoring available in the market, giving operators the ability to take full control of a target’s phone, download all device data, or activate the camera or the microphone unbeknownst to the user.

The commercial department of United States a few weeks ago he inserted NSO in the blacklist, limiting the ties of the company based in Herzliya with US companies on allegations that “it allowed foreign governments to carry out transnational repression” but also posed a threat to national interests Americans. Also last Tuesday Apple sued NSO Group for targeting users of its devices, saying the company at the center of the Pegasus surveillance scandal should be held accountable. “To prevent further abuse and damage to its users, Apple is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Software, Apple device or service, ”the Cupertino-based company said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.

It was the second time that the NSO group had been targeted by a large American company, after Facebook sued the Israeli company in 2019 for targeting users of its messaging application WhatsApp. Earlier this month, a United States appeals court dismissed a petition by the NSO group to dismiss Facebook’s lawsuit. In a 3-0 vote, the court rejected NSO’s defense that “he could claim thesovereign immunity foreigner ”, opening the company to new lawsuits like the one filed by Apple last Tuesday. The huge profits accumulated since 2016 by the Herzilya company risk ending up in lawyers and compensation.

At the start of the week, the rating agency Moody’s has published data indicating that the NSO group is at increased risk of insolvency For about $ 500 million in debt due to impending cash flow problems after entering the business Blacklist the United States. The ONS had already decided to end relations with theemir Mohammed ben Rachid al Maktoum (UAE) three weeks ago. Because the ruler of Dubai was using Pegasus to hack his phones ex wife – the Princess haya, sister of the King of Jordan Abdallah – and a few people close to her. For more than a year the princess has fled the Gulf kingdom to escape the obsessions of her husband and took refuge with her two children in the London residence of the Hussein family.

There is also one of the lawyers being spied on Fiona Sara Shackleton, a well-known lawyer who also protected the Windsor family – but above all named baroness by queen elizabeth in 2010 and member of House of Lords. Spying on a Peer from England on English national territory is not something that can happen with impunity. Israeli company warned that its software was misused and immediately activated Cherie Blair, a renowned British lawyer hired by the NSO as a consultant on human rights and wife offormer prime minister Tony Blair, to warn the princess. Within two hours, the company then shut down the customer’s system.


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