Israel Cuts List Of Nations Buying Cyber Tech After Pegasus Row: Report



Israel has cut the list of countries licensed to buy cyber tech to 37 from 102. (File)


Israel has reduced the list of countries eligible to buy cyber technologies following concerns that could arise outside a fraudulent device sold by the Israeli company NSO Group, Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist said Thursday.

The newspaper, which did not disclose its origin, said Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates were among the countries not allowed to call for Israeli intelligence. The list of countries with purchase permits was cut in only 37 countries, down from 102.

The Israeli Ministry of Homeland Security, in response to the report, said in its statement that it was taking “appropriate measures” in violating the rules on the use of export licenses, but failed to ensure that any permits were revoked.

Israel has been under pressure to launch spyware programs since July, when a group of international media outlets reported that the Pegasus NSO tool was used to crack the phones of journalists, government officials and freedom fighters in several countries.

The reports urged Israel to reconsider its policy on cyber export by the Ministry of Defense.

Morocco and the UAE, both of which changed relations with Israel last year, as well as Saudi Arabia and Mexico were among the countries that Pegasus linked to political monitoring, according to Amnesty International and the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab.

The NSO has denied any wrongdoing, saying that it sells its weapons only to governments and law enforcement agencies and that it has safeguards against misusing it.

Earlier this month, U.S. officials placed the NSO on a commercial list to sell spy software to governments that had misused it. The company said it was disappointed by the decision, because its technologies “support the interests and principles of US security in preventing terrorism and crime”.

The NSO has also been prosecuted and prosecuted by a number of high-tech companies that accuse its customers of fraud. Apple Inc was the latest to challenge the NSO this week.

(With the exception of the headline, this article has not been edited by staff at NDTV and has been published from a mixed diet.)

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