by Stephen Nellis
(Reuters) – Apple said on Tuesday it filed a lawsuit in California against Israeli firm NSO, creator of spyware Pegasus, accusing it of monitoring and targeting users of Apple products in the United States.
The US group has said it also wants NSO to be banned from using Apple software, services and devices to prevent further violations.
Since an investigation published last July by various international news organizations revealed that Pegasus software had been used to spy on leaders, politicians, journalists and activists in various countries, many governments and companies have launched an offensive against the NSO.
This month, the United States blacklisted the Israeli firm for selling hacking tools to countries that have used them to spy on US officials, among others.
NSO has also been criticized or sued by groups like Microsoft, Alphabet, and Cisco Systems.
While claiming that it sells its tools only to governments and law enforcement agencies and that the devices are in place to prevent misuse, the Israeli firm said “thousands of lives” have been saved thanks to its software.
“Pedophiles and terrorists can operate freely in tech havens, we are providing governments with the legal tools to fight this,” an NSO spokesperson said in a statement, adding that NSO would continue to “promote the truth.”
(Reporting to Eva Mathews in Bangalore, Stephen Nellis in San Francisco, Chris Bing in Washington, and Steven Scheer in Tel Aviv; French version Jean Terzian)
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