I bet you did not know there is a billion-dollar company helping governments around the world hack mobile phones for various, likely unnecessary, reasons:
“Mexico and the UAE aren’t the only countries where commercially made, government-only cyberweapons have been aimed at activists and lawyers, and NSO isn’t the only company making this kind of software: Citizen Lab has also helped investigations into abuse of spyware made by the Italian company Hacking Team and the Munich-based Gamma Group.
The Panamanian government has also been caught using Pegasus to hack citizens’ smartphones, alongside a similar weapon by the Italian company Hacking Team called RCS. In 2015, the government of Panama opened an investigation into its former president, Ricardo Martinelli, for running a personal NSO deployment out of a secret office, from which he spied on a number of opponents, including Americans.
The investment firm didn’t comment on the letter or the reasons for its decision not to invest in NSO. But when asked by a reporter for Israel’s Haaretz last month if NSO would have still sold its technology to Mexico in retrospect, one unnamed executive affiliated with the company was emphatic: “No,” they said.
When asked by Reuters about abuses of NSO software in Mexico and elsewhere, he said, “I think people believe that NSO is a company that does good. understand the value that this company has generated for the world. I am extremely proud of NSO.”