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Apple Sues Israeli Surveillance Company NSO Group

Apple has filed a lawsuit against Israeli surveillance company NSO Group over its Pegasus spyware.

The lawsuit aims to hold NSO Group accountable for “the surveillance and targeting of Apple users” which it calls “flagrant violations of US federal and state law.”

The company is also seeking a permanent injunction to ban NSO Group from using any Apple software, services, or devices.

“State-sponsored actors like the NSO Group spend millions of dollars on sophisticated surveillance technologies without effective accountability. That needs to change,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.

“Apple devices are the most secure consumer hardware on the market — but private companies developing state-sponsored spyware have become even more dangerous.

“While these cybersecurity threats only impact a very small number of our customers, we take any attack on our users very seriously, and we’re constantly working to strengthen the security and privacy protections in iOS to keep all our users safe.”

The company has not disclosed the damages it is seeking, but has pledged to donated US$10 million, plus any damages, to the Citizen Lab and Amnesty Tech, groups that pursue cybersurveillance research and advocacy.

“Mercenary spyware firms like NSO Group have facilitated some of the world’s worst human rights abuses and acts of transnational repression, while enriching themselves and their investors,” said Ron Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto.

“I applaud Apple for holding them accountable for their abuses, and hope in doing so Apple will help to bring justice to all who have been victimized by NSO Group’s reckless behavior.”

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