The United States has blacklisted an Israeli company behind the spy software Pegasus. This means that US companies cannot sell technology to the NSO Group.
Phones of world leaders, journalists, lawyers and human rights activists were revealed earlier this year by the International Federation of Investigative Journalists. The spy software was tapped by Pegasus. They concluded this after examining a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers targeted by spyware.
Government leaders around the world responded to these revelations with astonishment. The United States Department of Commerce now adds the company to the blockchain, which restricts exports to companies. NSO cannot purchase parts from the United States without a special license and makes it difficult to sell spyware. Another Israeli technology company, Candiru, is also on the list. The company, like the NSO group, is said to have supplied spyware to spy on journalists, businessmen and activists.
The United States says the move is aimed at protecting residents’ cyber security. The government is concerned about human rights violations related to the use of the software. According to the United States, the software allowed governments to put pressure on dissidents, journalists and activists beyond their own national borders. ‘Such practices threaten international law and order.’
The NSO group, the Israeli company behind the software, denied that all the phone numbers on the leaked list had anything to do with the Pegasus organization. The company says it only trades with countries that use counter-terrorism equipment and only after permission from the Israeli government.
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