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Meta-owned WhatsApp gets US Supreme Court nod to pursue ‘Pegasus’ spyware case: All the details



The US Supreme Court has given the green light to the Meta-owned WhatsApp instant messaging platform to pursue the case against NSO group. The company is suing the Israel-based company for exploiting a bug in the messaging app WhatsApp to install spyware. The software was then used to monitor 1,400 people, including journalists, human rights activists and dissidents around the globe.
What is Whatsapp? Pegasus spyware case
WhatsApp in 2019 sued NSO The group alleges that the Israeli cyber-intelligence company had unauthorized access to a WhatsApp server six months earlier to install Pegasus software on the victim’s mobile device.
The software was then used to spy on media people and activists, including at least 40 journalists from India. In one case, NSO spyware was used – allegedly by the Saudi government – to target the inner circle of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in Istanbul.
According to information from Reuters news agency, US President Joe BidenHis administration urged the judges to reject the NSO’s appeal. meta sought an injunction and damages from NSO.
What does Meta say about the US Supreme Court decision?
Meta, the parent company of both WhatsApp and Facebook, welcomed the court’s move to dismiss the NSO’s “baseless” appeal.
Meta said: “NSO spyware has enabled cyberattacks against human rights activists, journalists and government officials. We firmly believe that their activities violate US law. States and they must be held accountable for their illegal activities.”
What did the NSO say to the US court?
NSO argued that it was not sued because it was acting as an agent for unidentified foreign governments when it installed the “Pegasus” spyware.
The company also argues that Pegasus helps law enforcement and intelligence agencies fight crime and protect national security, and that its technology is intended to help catch terrorists, pedophiles and hardened criminals. , the Reuters report noted.
How many WhatsApp users have been targeted?
According to court documents, the accounts of 1,400 WhatsApp users were accessed using the Pegasus tracking software. A 2021 investigation of 17 media organizations revealed that this spyware was used to successfully hack the smartphones of journalists, government officials and human rights activists around the world. bridge.
iPhone maker Apple also sued NSO Group in 2021, alleging the company violated its terms of service and terms of service agreement.
Pegasus ‘snooped’ Indian journalist
In 2019, WhatsApp is said to have confirmed that Israeli spyware was used to spy on more than two dozen Dalit scholars, lawyers, journalists and activists in India. According to media reports, the targeted surveillance took place in the run-up to the 2019 General Election. However, WhatsApp did not disclose the names and exact number of users with phones. attacked from afar.
Pegasus and its uses
The Pegasus spyware was created by the Israel-based NSO Corporation, which claims to work only with authorized governments. Pegasus is used openly by the governments of Mexico and Panama. It has 60 customers across 40 countries. The company says 51% of users are in the Intelligence Service, 38% are in law enforcement and 11% are in the military.
The company’s website reads: “Our products help government-licensed law enforcement and intelligence agencies legally address the most dangerous problems in today’s world. Technology of NSO has helped to prevent terrorism, disrupt criminal activities, find missing people, and assist search and rescue teams.”

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