Senior Israeli officials are pressing the Biden administration to remove Israeli spyware company NSO Group from the US Department of Commerce blacklist, Israeli journalist Barak Ravid has reported exclusively on the Axios website. The Israeli cyberattack company was blacklisted last November making it very difficult for them to find new customers in the US or even purchase equipment and services there. A senior US source told Axios that, “It is not interfering in the regulatory process through which NSO Group is appealing the listing decision.”
NSO Group was added to the US blacklist as part of the Biden administration’s policy, after allegations that it was harming US interests overseas. Progressives in the Democratic Party and in Congress were furious that various overseas governments were allegedly able to spy on US citizens abroad, as well as human rights activists and journalists in non-democratic countries, in contradiction to the policies of the Israeli company. After taking action against NSO and Israeli spyware rival Candiru, Israel’s Ministry of Defense tightened criteria for granting export licenses to cyberattack companies, and “Globes” recently reported that the tougher new criteria are persuading some spyware companies to consider closing down.
A senior Israeli official told Barak Ravid, “We told the US that they can’t destroy NSO and that several bad clients doesn’t mean the company’s products and capabilities are no longer needed.”
Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il – on June 12, 2022.
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