US puts Israeli spyware maker NSO on blacklist amid security concerns
The Guardian|November 04, 2021
The Israeli spyware maker NSO Group has been placed on a US blacklist by the Biden administration after it determined the firm had acted “contrary to the foreign policy and national security interests of the US”.
Stephanie Kirchgaessner

The Israeli spyware maker NSO Group has been placed on a US blacklist by the Biden administration after it determined the firm had acted “contrary to the foreign policy and national security interests of the US”.

The finding by the commerce department represents a major blow to the Israeli company and reveals a deep undercurrent of concern in the US about the impact of spyware on national security.

The company’s signature spyware – known as Pegasus – is alleged to have been deployed by foreign governments against dissidents, journalists, diplomats and members of the clergy, with several alleged victims in the UK . Its clients have included Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Hungary and India.

The new designation – which places NSO in the company of hackers from China and Russia – comes three months after a consortium of journalists working with the French non-profit group Forbidden Stories revealed multiple cases of journalists and activists who were hacked by foreign governments using the spyware, including American citizens.

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