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Media, public banned in Israeli NSO surveillance firm hearing, alleged to have facilitated journalist murder




FOLLOWING international outcries over the use of Israeli NSO surveillance spyware, an Israeli court has ruled to have the media and public absent from the court proceedings citing security reasons.

Over the past years, Israeli NSO spyware has been linked in the illegal tracking of politicians and government personalities including murder around the world.

Amnesty International has called for a revoke on the export licence of the firm, however, it seems the media and the public would be banned from partaking in the court sessions.

On Thursday, Reuters quoted a Tel Aviv District judge who had said that it was only right to abide by the parameters as a security measure.

The company founded in 2009 by Niv Carmi, Shalev Hulio and Omri Lavie, are the manufacturers of ‘Pegasus’, spyware alleged to been used in facilitating Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and other phishing activities that have targeted unsuspecting persons and companies around the world.

Before his assassination by the Saudi Arabia authorities on 2 October 2018, Khashoggi was a Washington Post columnist and a critic of the Saudi dictatorship run government.

Unlike companies whose technology protects customers against cyberattacks, NSO is a weapons firm that doesn’t deal with data security. It sells offensive software and spyware to governments and law enforcement and espionage agencies.

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In 2019, Facebook had shut down about 265 accounts for ‘coordinated inauthentic’ accounts that originated in Israel focused on Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Angola, Niger and Tunisia along with some activity in the Latin America and Southeast Asia for trying to influence election outcomes within the regions.


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