Home Israel Israeli spyware firm NSO adopts ‘human rights policy’

Israeli spyware firm NSO adopts ‘human rights policy’

An Israeli spyware company that has been accused of helping authoritarian governments stifle dissent said it has adopted “a new human rights policy” to ensure its software is not misused.

The NSO Group said Tuesday it would institute a series of oversight measures to ensure adherence and would henceforth evaluate potential clients’ “past human rights performance.”

NSO has come under fire in the past year for selling its surveillance software to repressive governments that use it against dissidents. It does not disclose clients, but they are believed to include Middle Eastern and Latin American states.

A Saudi dissident has accused NSO of involvement in Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s killing last year.

People hold signs during a protest at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in the United States about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in Washington, October 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Earlier this month, the Polish government came under pressure to disclose whether it purchased the spyware, a move that could potentially be illegal in the country.

The Herzliya-based company’s powerful spyware can hijack smartphones, control their cameras and effectively turn them into pocket-sized surveillance devices.

The company said its product is used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies to fight “crime and terrorism.”

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