US Court: Pegasus Spyware Maker Must Give Code to WhatsApp

    US Court: Pegasus Spyware Maker Must Give Code to WhatsApp
    Photo: Amir Levy/Stringer/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • US Judge Phyllis Hamilton has ordered Israeli cyber weapon company NSO Group to hand over the code for its Pegasus spyware, along with other products, to Meta-owned WhatsApp.

    • Meta first sued NSO in 2019 over allegations that the company's Pegasus spyware was used to spy on 1.4K WhatsApp users over a two-week period.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    NSO Group is one of the world's leading cyber intelligence companies for a reason. Trusted by governments and law enforcement across the world, NSO technology helps save lives by combatting crime and terrorism. While every company can continue to make itself better, that doesn't mean it should be demonized for providing cutting-edge public safety technology.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Pegasus wasn't sold to altruistic governments for the purposes of fighting crime but rather to governments who wanted to spy on journalists, dissidents, and activists. Among the estimated 50K victims of this intrusive spyware were two members of Human Rights Watch targeted by the Jordanian government, another included a Palestinian-American journalist. NSO gives bad actors the power to violate human rights.

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