TechDigits

Tech news
Monday, Feb 06, 2023

US Supreme Court turns away Israeli spyware maker in WhatsApp suit

US Supreme Court turns away Israeli spyware maker in WhatsApp suit

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an Israeli spyware maker’s bid to derail a high-profile lawsuit filed by the WhatsApp messaging service.
The justices left in place lower court rulings against the Israeli firm, NSO Group. WhatsApp claims that NSO targeted some 1,400 users of the encrypted messaging service with highly sophisticated spyware.

WhatsApp parent Facebook, now called Meta Platforms Inc, is trying to block NSO from Facebook platforms and servers and recover unspecified damages.

NSO argued that it should be recognized as a foreign government agent and therefore be entitled to immunity under US law limiting lawsuits against foreign countries. The request appeals a pair of earlier federal court rulings that rejected similar arguments by the Israeli company.

The Biden administration recommended that the court turn away the appeal. The Justice Department wrote that “NSO plainly is not entitled to immunity here.”

NSO’s flagship product, Pegasus, allows operators to covertly infiltrate a target’s mobile phone, gaining access to messages and contacts, the camera and microphone and location history. Only government law enforcement agencies can purchase the product and all sales are approved by Israel’s Defense Ministry, NSO said. It does not identify its clients.

WhatsApp says at least 100 of the users connected to its lawsuit were journalists, rights activists and civil society members.

NSO said it has safeguards in place to prevent abuses, although the company also said it has no control over how its clients use the product.

The WhatsApp case is among a series of legal battles plaguing NSO. In a separate lawsuit, Apple says it aims to prevent NSO from breaking into products. It claimed Pegasus had affected a small number of iPhone users worldwide, calling NSO’s employees “amoral 21st century mercenaries.”

NSO also has been blacklisted by the US Commerce Department, limiting its access to US technology. US officials said the company’s products were complicit in “transnational repression.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

TechDigits
Close
0:00
0:00
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
What is ChatGPT?
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
Corruption works: House Financial Services Chair Waters doesn't plan to subpoena her donor, Sam Bankman-Fried, to testify at hearing on FTX collapse
Yellen hints at ‘national security’ probe into Twitter purchase
Elon Musk reinstates Donald Trump's Twitter account.
George W. Bush and Barack Obama will hold back-to-back disinformation conferences
Solar + Powerwall ensures you never lose power, even if the grid goes down
This man paid for strangers' grocery and it moved them to tears
Meta introduces a new version of Mark Zuckerberg
Virtual Reality on billboards: BMW advertisement on Times Square
Apple CEO Tim Cook says coding should be taught as early as elementary school: 'It's the most important language you can learn'
Apple Executive Resigns After Viral TikTok Shows Him Making Crude Jokes
Huawei is not only better technology, but also protecting users better: Apple Warns Of Security Flaw For Iphones, Ipads And Macs
Mark Zuckerberg warns many teams will ‘shrink’ as Meta revenue drops
Elon Musk reportedly begged for forgiveness after his affair with Google co-founder Sergey Brin's wife
J.P. Morgan’s wealth management guru has some advice for recent college graduates on managing money and building wealth
Pentagon widens scope of UFO-hunting unit
Bezos' girlfriend Lauren Sanchez gives $1M to group focused on migrant kids at US-Mexico border
Hong Kong gets its first metaverse churches with avatars and virtual preachers
The ‘Dirty Quid Pro Quo’ Between Democrats and Big Tech
Elon Musk swore in March not to sell any Bitcoin, but Tesla cashed out 75% of its Bitcoin holdings amid the crypto winter just months later
Crypto winter continues at Gemini as another round of layoffs hits Winklevoss crypto exchange
Ex-CIA engineer Joshua Schulte convicted over massive data leak
EU to build new top-secret bunker
Elon Musk fathered twins with one of his executives last year
Apple launches Lockdown Mode to block spyware attacks on at-risk users
Australia floods worsen as thousands more Sydney residents evacuate
Women's own body dissatisfaction appears to influence their judgment of other women's body sizes
Hacker claims to have obtained data on 1 billion Chinese citizens
British Army's Twitter and YouTube accounts restored after hack
Google will delete location history for visits to abortion clinics after overturning of Roe v. Wade
Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Other Top Billionaires Lose $1.4 Trillion In Worst Half Ever
Philippines orders critical news site to shut down
Social media companies could be sued for addicting children to their digital-drug in California 
Airport chaos: European travel runs into pandemic cutbacks
The teen who tracks Elon Musk's jet agreed to stop monitoring Mark Cuban's flights on Twitter after the billionaire offered business advice
YouTube Shorts Claims 1.5 Billion Global Users As TikTok Rivalry Heats Up
×