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The New York Times: The US defense company wanted to buy the Pegasus spyware company – IT Pro – News

US defense company L3 Harris wanted to buy NSO to manufacture Pegasus, The New York Times wrote on the basis of insiders. The White House was unaware of the negotiations. In addition, the Israeli company has been blacklisted by the US government.

The paper reports that executives from L3 Harris, who has experience developing spyware, have visited Israel more than once in recent months to negotiate with NSO. According to people familiar with the talks, it was possible for the companies to strike a deal. In addition, the US intelligence services were said to have quietly agreed to the negotiations.

During discussions about the potential sale of NSO to L3 Harris, representatives of the US company said they had received permission from the US government to negotiate with NSO. Sources in the “New York Times” said that US intelligence agencies supported the acquisition as long as certain conditions were met. One of the conditions was that NSO’s Zero Days Overview could be sold to all Five Eyes Partnership partners. These are the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Talks continued secretly until last month, when information about a possible sale of NSO was leaked. White House officials were reportedly angered by the negotiations. They are also said to have said the White House opposes attempts by US defense companies to buy a blacklisted company. L3 Harris has since halted negotiations, He writes for the New York Times

L3 Harris and NSO spokespeople declined to respond to the newspaper’s questions about negotiations between the two companies. US intelligence agencies declined to say whether they agreed to the talks. A Commerce Department spokesperson declined to provide details of any talks with L3 Harris regarding the NSO purchase.
The Israeli Defense Ministry also declined to comment.

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Pegasus has been criticized several times in spyware cases where journalists, politicians and other public figures have been spied on using spyware. However, US intelligence agencies have previously shown interest in the Pegasus device. The Guardian wrote earlier this year that The FBI was going to buy the controversial program to have a look at it.