WorldWashington blacklists two Israeli spyware companies

Washington blacklists two Israeli spyware companies

AA / United States

The US Department of Commerce on Wednesday placed on its blacklist (Entity list) two Israeli companies specializing in the development of spyware, one of which is none other than, “NSO Group”, which designed the intelligence system. computer “Pegasus”, report Israeli media.

Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot reported that Washington reported that the company “NSO Group”, which developed the “Pegasus” spy program, was “engaged in activities contrary to the national interest of the United States.” .

The Israeli daily reported that the US Department of Commerce issued a statement in which it said that the Israeli company “NSO Group”, as well as the firm “Candiru” (based in Tel Aviv and which also manufactures spyware), were placed “on the blacklist of entities involved in malicious electronic activity that is against the national interest of the United States.”

The same source points out that this is an “unprecedented decision” with regard to Israeli companies.

Washington’s decision was based on evidence that “these entities have developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments, which have used these tools to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businessmen, activists. , academics and embassy employees, ”says Yediot Aharonot.

The British newspaper “The Guardian” published last July the results of an investigation by 17 media outlets, according to which the Israeli spy program “Pegasus” had spread widely around the world and had been “misused. “.

The investigation indicated that the governments of at least 10 countries, are among the clients of the Israeli firm “NSO Group”, including Morocco and Saudi Arabia, while Rabat and Riyadh have overturned accusations of spying on phones. public and foreign figures, using one of the software.

“Pegasus” is used to spy on human rights activists, monitor emails, retrieve photos and record conversations, after their phones have been hacked.

Based in Tel Aviv, the Israeli firm “NSO Group” was created in 2010, and has around 500 employees.

* Translated from Arabic by Majdi Ismail

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