July 25, 2024
Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
July 25, 2024
Search
Close this search box.

Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Democratic Lawmakers Call for Sanctions Against Israeli Cyber Firm NSO Group

(JNS) Eighteen U.S. lawmakers released a letter this week urging the Treasury and State Departments to sanction Israeli spyware firm NSO Group for allegedly helping authoritarian regimes commit human-rights violations.

The letter, which also called for sanctions against three other foreign surveillance companies, was signed by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Or.), House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and other Democratic lawmakers, Reuters reported.

The letter cited a Reuters report claiming that NSO spyware targeted State Department employees in Uganda, and asked for Global Magnitsky sanctions—the freezing of bank accounts and banning of travel to the U.S.—on those companies.

The U.S. added NSO Group and another Israeli cybersurveillance firm, Candiru, to its blacklist on November 3.

“NSO Group and Candiru were added to the Entity List based on a determination that they developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used this tool to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businesspeople, activists, academics and embassy workers,” the State Department said.

NSO Group came under fire in July for allegations its government clients widely misused its Pegasus spyware against politicians, journalists and critics of repressive regimes.

The spyware’s intended purpose is to track criminals and terrorists, according to the company. It can be used to remotely access emails, passwords, contact lists and even a smartphone’s camera, microphone and tracking system, transforming the phone into a surveillance device, according to NSO marketing materials.

NSO Group has denied charges that its clients have misused its product.

Leave a Comment

Most Popular Articles