Israel slashes list of countries that can buy cyber tech -report




  • In Business
  • 2021-11-25 18:09:38Z
  • By Reuters
 

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel slashed its list of countries eligible to buy its cyber technologies following concern over possible abuses abroad of a hacking tool sold by Israeli firm NSO Group, Israel's Calcalist financial newspaper reported on Thursday.

The newspaper, which did not disclose its sources, said Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates were among countries which would now be barred from importing Israeli cyber tech. The list of countries licensed to buy it had been cut to just 37 states, down from 102.

Israel's Defence Ministry, responding to the report, said in a statement it takes "appropriate steps" when terms of usage set in export licenses it issues are violated, but stopped short of confirming any licenses had been revoked.

Israel has been under pressure to rein in exports of spyware since July, when a group of international news organisations reported that NSO's Pegasus tool had been used to hack into phones of journalists, government officials and rights activists in several countries.

Those reports prompted Israel to review the cyber export policy administered by the Defence Ministry.

Morocco and the UAE, which both normalised relations with Israel last year, as well as Saudi Arabia and Mexico were among countries where Pegasus has been linked to political surveillance, according to Amnesty International and the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab which studies surveillance.

NSO has denied any wrongdoing, saying it sells its tools only to governments and law enforcement agencies and has safeguards in place to prevent misuse.

Earlier this month, U.S. officials placed NSO on a trade blacklist https://www.reuters.com/technology/us-blacklists-four-companies-israel-russia-singapore-citing-spyware-2021-11-03 for selling spyware to governments that misused it. The company said it was dismayed by the decision, since its technologies "support U.S. national security interests and policies by preventing terrorism and crime".

NSO has also faced lawsuits and criticism from big tech firms who accuse it of exposing their customers to hacking. Apple Inc was the latest to sue NSO https://www.reuters.com/technology/apple-files-lawsuit-against-nso-group-2021-11-23 this week.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Jeffrey Heller)

COMMENTS

More Related News

Black Eyed Peas frontman defies Israel boycott calls
Black Eyed Peas frontman defies Israel boycott calls
  • World
  • 2021-11-29 19:22:16Z

The Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am said Monday that politics don't dictate his actions, with pressure from pro-Palestinian activists unable to deter him from...

Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.
Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.
  • World
  • 2021-11-29 18:01:42Z

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to...

Japan, Israel, and Morocco ban all foreign travelers from entering over Omicron variant fears
Japan, Israel, and Morocco ban all foreign travelers from entering over Omicron variant fears

Monday also marks the start of US travel restrictions from eight countries in southern Africa, where the Omicron variant was first identified.

Taiwan says China military trying to wear it out, but it can respond
Taiwan says China military trying to wear it out, but it can respond

China's military is trying to wear out Taiwan's armed forces with its repeated missions nearby, but Taiwan is capable of responding, Taipei's defence...

Japan to bar foreign visitors due to Omicron threat
Japan to bar foreign visitors due to Omicron threat
  • US
  • 2021-11-29 01:32:21Z

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japan said on Monday it would bar entry to foreigners to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, joining Israel in the...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business