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US blacklists Israel’s NSO for actions ‘contrary to national security interests’

A branch of the Israeli NSO Group company, near the southern Israeli town of Sapir, on August 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
A branch of the Israeli NSO Group company, near the southern Israeli town of Sapir, on August 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

The US has blacklisted Israel’s NSO Group for “activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.”

The Israeli firm Candiru has also been added to the US Commerce Department’s “Entity List.”

The department says its actions are “based on evidence that these entities developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used these tools to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businesspeople, activists, academics, and embassy workers.

“These tools have also enabled foreign governments to conduct transnational repression, which is the practice of authoritarian governments targeting dissidents, journalists and activists outside of their sovereign borders to silence dissent. Such practices threaten the rules-based international order.”

NSO Group has repeatedly made headlines around the world in recent years over claims its powerful phone hacking software has been used to abuse human rights.

Candiru is another firm that allegedly developed tools used to snoop on rights activists and others around the world.

 

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