Israeli firms helping repressive
regimes spy on dissidents

In a December 5th opinion piece in the Washington Post, Max Boot bemoaned what he sees as Israel’s betrayal of her ideals in allowing Israeli technology firms to “misuse their expertise to aid oppression in other countries.” 

An Israeli technology firm, the NSO Group, founded by veterans of the Israeli armed forces, has been selling their Pegasus surveillance software to repressive regimes around the world in order to monitor dissidents.

Per capita, Israel has more companies in the business of surveillance than any other country in the world. And more than any other Israeli firm, their NSO Group has been accused of allowing their products to be used against dissidents and activists around the world.

A lawsuit by Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz against the NSO Group accuses the Israeli firm of providing the Saudi government with surveillance software that allowed the Saudis to spy on Abdulaziz and his friend Jamal Khashoggi, likely contributing to the murder of Khashoggi.

Others around the world — including in Mexico, Panama and the UAE — have complained that their governments are monitoring them  using surveillance software from Israel’s NSO Group, the UAE’s Dark Matter, and Italy’s Hacking Team. And some dissidents are filing their own lawsuits. Perhaps most disturbing of all, it appears that the U.S. has been helping the Saudis in their cyberwar — not only against terrorists, but also against dissidents. 

 

Source: Washington Post

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