Human rights NGOs urge EU to sanction NSO group | world | DW

On Friday (03.12.2021), 86 human rights organizations and independent specialists asked the European Union to adopt selective sanctions against NSO . group, an Israel-based company that produces programs like Famous winged horse.

“The European Union must immediately punish,” he added NSO . group and ban any use of its technologies”, confirmed the senders of a letter addressed to the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, and to the foreign ministers of member states. This call comes after “credible reports” that the spyware program winged horse, which “turns the infected phone into a portable monitoring tool that has helped governments commit human rights abuses,” reported groups including Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Front Line Defenders.

“There is compelling evidence that spyware winged horse “Abusive governments have repeatedly used it to suppress peaceful human rights defenders, activists and critics,” said Deborah Brown, senior digital rights researcher and advocate for Human Rights Watch.

In November 2021, Front Line Defenders – who protects human rights defenders at risk – detect spyware winged horse from NSO . group They insisted that it was used to hack the devices of six Palestinian activists, “the latest in a growing series of reports of human rights abuses related to the use of technology developed by the Israel-based company”.

In July 2021, a consortium Project Pegasus – Coordination of media organizations forbidden stories With technical support from AI- explained that the program winged horse It was used to hack the devices of activists, journalists and opposition figures in various countries, including the European Union. The company has repeatedly denied the allegations, but none of the company’s partners Project Pegasus None of the groups that revealed the hack have retracted their information, the signatories to the letter told Borrell and 27 diplomatic chiefs. In fact, they added, other independent reports and investigations by the authorities supported their conclusions Project Pegasus.

They considered that the European Union should go one step further, including NSO . group on its global list of human rights sanctions and take all appropriate measures to prohibit the sale, transfer, export, import and use of human rights technologies. NSO . groupAs well as providing services that support products NSO . group, until adequate guarantees of human rights are put in place. “The European Union must unequivocally close its doors to work with NSO . groupBrown said.

Investigating hacking reports of US diplomats

Meanwhile, the developer winged horse On Friday, it said it was investigating reports that this technology was used for the attack Iphone to some American diplomats in Africa. company An apple -Manufacturer of Iphone– He started alerting people whose phones had been hacked by spyware.

In addition to independent research, NSO “It will cooperate with any relevant government authority and will provide full information in our possession,” the company said in a statement. NSO . group It warned that it did not confirm the use of its tools, but chose to “revoke the relevant customers’ access to the system” due to the seriousness of the accusations circulated in the media such as Reuters And Washington Post.

Washington Post This has been reported An apple 11 US diplomats alerted that Iphone It was hacked in recent months, citing people familiar with the case, who claimed the attacks were targeting officials active in Uganda and East Africa. An apple She filed a lawsuit against the company last month to block it NSO . group Use the services of a Silicon Valley giant and thus avoid using them against more than 1,000 million Iphone This is in circulation.

A few weeks before the lawsuit An appleOn the blacklist of the US authorities NSO . group to accusations that the Israeli company “allowed foreign governments to carry out cross-border repression.” Smartphones infected with winged horse They allow the hacker to read the victim’s messages, look at their photos, track their location, and even turn on the camera without people knowing.

ama (efe, afp, business insider, the guardian, the Washington Post)

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