Israel has reduced its list of countries to which the cyber technologies developed in its own country can be exported to almost a third. This is what the Israeli newspaper reports Calcalist. Accordingly, countries such as Morocco, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deleted from the export list, which now only includes 37 instead of 102 countries.
The Israeli government did not give an official reason for the removal of the countries from the export list. The Department of Defense stated versus Calcalist only that Israel only allows the export of cyber products to government organizations that legally use the software to fight crime and terrorism. If a state violates these guidelines, the appropriate steps are taken. Details have not been confirmed.
Apart from the four countries mentioned above, no mention is made of which countries used Israel’s cyber technologies in contravention of the agreements. In addition to most Western European countries, the export list only includes Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the USA and Canada. It is not known whether China and Russia were previously part of it.
Countries use NSO Group spyware
Morocco and the United Arab Emirates have recently normalized their relations with Israel, like the israeli newspaper Haaretz notes. Just like Saudi Arabia and Mexico, however, they are among the countries in which the spyware Pegasus from the Israeli company NSO Group is said to have been used for political surveillance. Studies of Amnesty International and the University of Toronto.
NSO Group denies any wrongdoing and has stated that it only supplies its software to governments and state agencies. In addition, the products have safety precautions to prevent misuse. Even so, the US has imposed sanctions on NSO Group and others who are thus subject to trade restrictions.
WhatsApp and Apple are suing NSO over spyware
After a court in the United States recently ruled that NSO had no immunity in the United States and that WhatsApp’s lawsuit was admissible, Apple also sued the NSO Group for the spyware Pegasus. Both WhatsApp and Apple accuse the Israeli company of using their products for spying by exploiting security holes.
The reduction of Israel’s export list to nearly a third is likely to hit Israel’s cybersecurity firms, not just NSO Group. The industry currently generates $ 10 billion in annual sales in this country, according to Calcalist. Around 10 percent of this is accounted for by security programs that can be used to attack and that are predominantly requested by totalitarian regimes.