US bans trade with security firm NSO Group over Pegasus spyware

Surveillance software developer NSO Group may have a very tough road ahead. The US Commerce Department has added NSO to its Entity List, effectively banning trade with the firm. The move bars American companies from doing business with NSO unless they receive explicit permission. That’s unlikely, too, when the rule doesn’t allow license exceptions for exports and the US will default to rejecting reviews.

NSO and fellow Israeli company Candiru (also on the Entity List) face accusations of enabling hostile spying by authoritarian governments. They’ve allegedly supplied spyware like NSO’s Pegasus to “authoritarian governments” that used the tools to track activists, journalists and other critics in a bid to crush political dissent. This is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s push to make human rights “the center” of American foreign policy, the Commerce Department said.

The latest round of trade bans also affects Russian company Positive Technologies and Singapore’s Computer Security Initiative Consultancy, bot of which were accused of peddling hacking tools.

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Source: US bans trade with security firm NSO Group over Pegasus spyware (updated) | Engadget

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