WhatsApp’s Pegasus spyware case may move forward: US Supreme Court | Business and Economic News
The Israeli spying company NSO Group has been linked to the state’s surveillance of human rights activists and dissidents.
The Supreme Court of the United States of America has given permission to the messaging platform WhatsApp to address the case against the Israeli NSO Group. Pegasus spyware linked to state surveillance of journalists, human rights defenders and dissidents around the world.
Supreme Court judges on Monday vacated the rulings against the Israeli company he argued should be recognized as an agent of a foreign government and therefore entitled to immunity under US law limiting suits against foreign countries.
WhatsApp, which is owned by Meta and is among a number of tech companies and individuals taking legal action against the Israeli firm, has sued. The NSO Group is taken care of About 1,400 people through the messaging platform.
The company’s 2019 lawsuit seeks to block the NSO Group from the Meta platform and servers and recover unspecified damages.
Meta, which owns WhatsApp and Facebook, on Monday welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to reject what it called a “baseless” appeal.
“NSO’s spyware has enabled cyber attacks aimed at human rights activists, journalists and government officials”, said Meta in a statement. “We strongly believe that their operations violate US law and that they should be held accountable for their illegal operations.”
President Joe Biden’s administration previously recommended that the court dismiss the appeal, with the Justice Department arguing that “NSO is not entitled to immunity here.”
US Department of Commerce in 2021 blacklisted This move restricted access to US technology by the Israeli company NSO Group for its complicity in “transnational repression”.
WhatsApp has alleged that at least 100 of the users linked to its lawsuit were journalists, rights activists and members of civil society.
A study published in 2021 by 17 media organizations, led by Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden Stories, found that the spy was used in attempted and successful hacking of the cellphones of journalists, government officials and human rights activists. global scale
Palestinian rights workers, Thai democracy activists, El Salvador media workers and inner circle slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly among those targeted by state actors using the Pegasus spy.
“Today’s decision clears the way for lawsuits filed by tech companies, as well as lawsuits filed by journalists and human rights defenders who have been victims of spy attacks,” said Carrie DeCell, a senior attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute. reporters said at a hearing against the NSO Group on Monday.
For its part, the NSO Group has argued that Pegasus helps law enforcement and intelligence agencies fight crime and protect national security. He said the technology is to help catch “terrorists”, pederasty and criminals.
The company, which does not disclose its customers, said that only law enforcement agencies can buy the product and that all sales are approved by Israel’s Ministry of Defense. He said he does not control how the technology is used after it is sold.
After Monday’s ruling, the Israeli company said in a statement: “We are confident that the court will decide that it was legal for its customers to use Pegasus.”
The NSO Group is also suing Apple iPhone maker he complained the company’s violation of its user terms and service agreements by including its products.
Apple has previously called NSO workers “the amoral mercenaries of the 21st century.”
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