Spyware: NSO’s Immunity Not Allowed in US, WhatsApp Suit

Israeli spyware manufacturer NSO cannot invoke immunity in the US to ward off a lawsuit from Whatsapp or Meta (formerly Facebook). And the appeals court decided this unanimously, according to Reuters. With that said, the lawsuit goes back to the California Federal District Court where the lawsuit was filed.

Therefore, the NSO Group failed in its attempt to secure an immunity granted only to government agencies. The company argued that since the company’s spyware is used by government organizations such as Secret Services, the manufacturer could not be sued.

NSO Group has been on everyone’s lips since the last revelations in the summer, but the company’s actions have long been criticized. For years, the use of the spyware has been criticized by the NSO to spy on human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, diplomats and other government officials as well as their families. This often happens on behalf of systems. WhatsApp filed a lawsuit at the end of 2019 because the “Pegasus” spyware was said to have been used to hack 1,400 accounts. For this purpose, NSO is said to have exploited a vulnerability in the messenger. Since the NSO Group has created accounts for itself, the company has violated the terms of use.

unanimous defeat Before the US Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the company now faces another defeat in the difficult second half of 2021. After the revelations in the summer, it became more and more known cases, for example, human rights activists or journalists spied on with spyware NSO. The NSO Group regularly contradicts the allegations made, but a few days ago it was placed on the US sanctions list.

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The United States government includes companies, persons, or governments whose activities “contradict the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States” on the Entity List. Trading in these restrictions is subject to strict restrictions and in some cases only an exemption from the Ministry is allowed.


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