The U.S. Supreme Court rejected NSO Group’s appeal, allowing WhatsApp and Meta’s lawsuit against the Israeli spyware provider to proceed to trial. NSO attempted to argue immunity as an agent of foreign governments, but two lower courts denied this before being appealed to the Supreme Court in 2022. Meta applauded the Supreme Court’s decision, stating that NSO’s spyware has facilitated attacks on human rights advocates, journalists, and government officials and that the company must be held accountable for violating U.S. law.
This story might seem straight forward but it’s not.
The Supreme Court, in response to NSO’s appeal, requested an opinion from the U.S. Department of Justice, and in November 2022, a reply was issued. The Department of Justice recommended rejecting NSO’s appeal, a recommendation that the Supreme Court upheld.
Pegasus is a highly sophisticated spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO Group. It can compromise a device and give an attacker complete control, allowing them to turn on the camera and microphone without detection, access data, and retrieve passwords. Pegasus has faced criticism for its potential use in violating human rights.
The U.S. Commerce Department stated that there is evidence that NSO has created and sold spyware to foreign governments, which have used it for malicious surveillance of various individuals, including government officials, journalists, business people, activists, scientists, and embassy staff. It also indicated that authoritarian governments had employed the software to target dissidents outside their borders to quash dissent.
Though, the odd thing is NSO also sold spyware and other software related to data collection to the United States Government and or federal agencies, according to sources within the Pentagon. This move is quite curious considering that foreign governments have been demanding a moratorium on selling such software to governments which is non-sensical since Estonia (EU) is a lead producer of such technology that is shared amongst many EU entities and agencies.
At the end of Millie Weaver’s documentary Shadowgate 2.0, I made a statement regarding Khashoggi, and here it is – full circle.
NSO and its Pegasus spyware have faced widespread criticism for their involvement in human rights abuses. It alleged that Pegasus spyware played a part in the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi. That would mean that Saudi Arabia was a customer of NSO or that another nation provided information from what Pegasus mined to Saudi Arabia, or a Military Industrial Complex company lead by retired military personnel, either foreign or domestic, may have RE-SELLING rights of the software.
Whatever the case may be, you cannot put the genie back in the bottle.
According to Little Sis:
Q Cyber Technologies Ltd is the corporate parent of NSO Group and what is interesting is that it has a US Subsidiary called Westbridge Technologies.
In 2021, a global research consortium revealed Pegasus’ use in monitoring journalists, human rights activists, and opposition figures. Since then, numerous other cases have been documented, including the surveillance of activists in Jordan and Bahrain, opposition figures in Poland, and U.S. State Department employees in Uganda, among others.
Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders, as well as UN human rights experts, have repeatedly called for a worldwide ban on the sale and transfer of surveillance technologies.
Access Now welcomed the Supreme Court’s ruling, calling on the California court to proceed with the case promptly. NSO now faces multiple high-profile lawsuits, including ones brought by media professionals from El Faro, a Salvadoran news site, and Apple. The media professionals are suing NSO to determine which government customer was responsible for their surveillance using Pegasus. The Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University filed the lawsuit on behalf of the media professionals in November 2022.
Pegasus software existence was CONFIRMED when Apple released a patch for it a few years ago and is now seeking legal remedy from the Israeli based company. Apple’s lawsuit aims to hold NSO accountable for the surveillance and targeted attacks on Apple users. The decision by the Supreme Court has cleared the way for lawsuits brought by tech companies and journalists, as well as human rights advocates who have been targeted with spyware. The use of spyware against media professionals has been widely criticized as one of the greatest threats to press freedom and democracy.
Our sources at the Pentagon tell us that, the Pentagon has purchased software from the NSO Group in the past. In 2019, the Pentagon and or the CIA purchased a license for NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware for use in the fight against terrorism. The software was used to monitor suspected terrorists and was purchased for less than $1 million.
Therefore, the puzzling fact that the DOJ is seeking to proceed with the case when the US Government that would include instruments of the Department of Justice also allegedly purchased. It is rumored that Bill Barr used the NSO software to initiate the new pre-crime division of the Department of Justice which makes this suit by the cyberoligarchs confusing.
The only gain the US Government has from all this, is to ENSURE through this litigation that private entities can no longer access tools that can mine, collect and covertly manipulate data except for governments which is a precursor to a cyber revolution and breathes life into the idea of a Steam Punk dystopic future where hackers try to take down an AI run government.