Home LATEST NEWS Pegasus: Israel tightens control over computer exports

Pegasus: Israel tightens control over computer exports


Definitions of serious crimes and terrorist acts have been refined to avoid blurring borders, the Military Export Control Agency, which reports to the Israeli Defense Ministry, said in a statement.

On Monday, this agency updated the end user declaration that every state must sign in order to acquire Israeli computer products used for the collection of information and intelligence.

According to the latter, it is, among others, acts that aim to threaten a population and can lead to death, injury, hostage taking.

The declaration also mentions in which cases it is forbidden to use a computer system, but also the sanctions against countries that violate these rules.

The State of Israel will have the right, at any time, to revoke or suspend the export license which may result in the shutdown of the system, or to impose restrictions on its use.

A quote from Israeli Ministry of Defense
The exterior of an office building with the logo of the NSO Group.

The premises of the NSO group in 2016, in Herzliya, Israel.

Photo: Associated Press / Daniella Cheslow

Israeli cybersecurity group NSO found itself exposed this summer after investigations published by a consortium of 17 international media outlets revealing that its Pegasus software could have spied on the numbers of journalists, politicians, including French President Emmanuel Macron, activists and business leaders from different countries.

Once installed in a mobile phone, Pegasus allows access to messaging and user data, but also to activate the device remotely for the purpose of capturing sound or images.

Pegasus software can only be sold to states, and such sales must be approved by a special committee of the Israeli Defense Ministry responsible for approving arms sales.

According to the daily Washington post and Reuters, Pegasus was used to infiltrate the smartphones of at least nine State Department employees based in Uganda or working primarily on issues related to East Africa.

In early November, the United States blacklisted NSO for companies threatening state security.

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