Microsoft, Google, Cisco, Dell stand by Facebook to fight against Israeli-based surveillance company

After the incident of WhatsApp being hacked by NSO, big technical platforms like Google and Microsoft join hands with Facebook to go against Israeli hacking company. According to the Reuters, a file was reported in federal court that mentions the dangers of Israeli company that are harmful for other tech websites.

Facebook had already filed a report last year against NSO for finding a bug in WhatsApp that revealed 1400 people's data publically. To which, NSO responds by claiming that they should be provided with the advantage of the sovereign immunity that isolates the foreign government from lawsuits. In July, the NSO lost the case in the Northern District of California and kept on appealing to take the decision back.

On the other hand, all the tech firms of Washington including Microsoft, Google, Cisco, and Dell-owned VMW stand by Facebook and argued against the response of the NSO. According to them, if the sovereign community is provided to the NSO, the results will be dangerous as it will promote the spread of hacking technologies.

Awarding sovereign immunity to the NSO means to give them more chances to exploit the cyber-surveillance tools abruptly. NSO instead of giving justification goes on to argue that they are working against cybercrimes. To prove them wrong, human rights defenders and technologists such as Toronto-based Citizen Lab and London-based Amnesty International presented cases where NSO technology was caught red-handedly of accusing and harassing reporters, lawyers, and even nutritionists just because there were campaigning for a good cause.

Citizen Lab presented a report which highlights the breaching act of NSO phone-hacking technology. Three dozen phones of journalists, producers, reporters, and executives were targeted at a broadcaster based in Qatar known as Al-Jazeera.

The murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was also connected to the NSO spyware, assassinated at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Upon investigation, his friend Omar Abdulaziz claimed that NSO spyware hacked his phone and the WhatsApp messages are the reason behind his death. NSO directly refused to accept the accusation and did not respond to further allegations about the use of their technology to hack others as well.

Photo: SAM YEH / AFP/Getty Images

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