NSO, surveillance Private

US blacklisting of NSO Group recognizes spyware abuses

This decision sends a strong message to NSO Group that it can no longer profit from human rights abuses without repercussions.

Danna Ingleton

In response to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s  decision to place cyber surveillance company NSO Group on its “entity list” for malicious cyber activity, Danna Ingleton, Deputy Director of Amnesty Tech, said:

“With this move, the US government has acknowledged what Amnesty and other activists have been saying for years: NSO Group’s spyware is a tool of repression, which has been used around the world to violate human rights. This decision sends a strong message to NSO Group that it can no longer profit from human rights abuses without repercussions.

“This is also a day of reckoning for NSO Group’s investors  – will they continue to bankroll a company whose technology has been used to systematically violate human rights?

“The threats posed by surveillance technology are bigger than one company. This dangerous industry is out of control, and this must spell the end of the impunity spyware companies have so far enjoyed. We need an immediate global moratorium on the export, sale, transfer and use of surveillance technology until there is a human rights-compliant regulatory framework in place.”

Background

The Pegasus Project exposed the global scale of abuses using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. The investigation was a ground-breaking collaboration by more than 80 journalists from 17 media organizations in 10 countries, coordinated by Forbidden Stories and with technical support from Amnesty International. Amnesty Tech  conducted cutting-edge forensic tests on mobile phones to identify traces of the spyware.

NSO Group said it is dismayed by the decision and would seek to have it reversed.