TEL AVIV (Reuters) – NSO-owner Group said it will do whatever is necessary to ensure that the Israeli company’s spyware does not prejudice the rights of man, after Amnesty International sought to revoke the export license for the NSO, which is linked to a WhatsApp violates.
FILE PHOTO: The WhatsApp messaging app is seen on a screen of the telephone 3 August 2017. REUTERS/Thomas/White File Photo
Although it does not comment on specific attacks, NSO said in a statement after a violation of WhatsApp, the messaging app on Tuesday that it is investigating “credible allegations of abuse” of the technology “exclusively operated by intelligence and law enforcement agencies”.
WhatsApp, a unit of Facebook, told the human rights groups believed that the spyware was developed by NSO, it is best known for are mobile hacking tools, Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation said on Tuesday following the offence.
A second person familiar with the matter, also identified spyware from NSO, whose largest investor is Novalpina Capital.
In a May 15 letter to Amnesty Novalpina said he controls the NSO’s board of directors and owns approximately two-thirds of the holding company.
The letter, signed by founders Stephen Peel, said Novalpina was “determined to do everything necessary to ensure that the NSO-technology is used for the purpose for which it is intended – the prevention of harm to the fundamental rights of the person arising from terrorism and serious crime – and not be abused in a way that undermines other equally fundamental human rights”.
NSO the founders and took over the management of the company from US private equity firm Francisco ners in February, with Novalpina support.
WhatsApp, one of the world’s most popular messaging programs, which are used by 1.5 billion people monthly, said it had notified the U.S. Department of Justice to assist with an investigation, and it encouraged all WhatsApp users to update to the latest version of the app, if the offence is committed.
Novalpina is the exchange of letters with Amnesty over the past months, in which the obligation to ensure NSO is in compliance with the UN principles on business and human rights.
The last communication was in response to a letter from Amnesty in April and don’t forget the WhatsApp service.
Lawful and responsible for the implementation of NSO-technology by intelligence and law enforcement agencies is essential to meet the challenges of what otherwise untraceable crime, terrorism, human trafficking and drug cartels, according to the letter.
It is referred to an affidavit submitted to the Israeli government by Amnesty this week looking to the repeal of the NSO’s export license. He said this would allow alternative suppliers which have not expressed interest in observing the UN principles to fill the gap.
Novalpina said that it was looking to involve Amnesty in its pursuit of a solution to problems in the declaration.
“It is our intention is to provide a new benchmark for transparency and respect for the rights of man in full accordance with the UN Guiding Principles,” the letter said. “This will be supported by ongoing and meaningful consultation with relevant stakeholders, and through a new model of public transparency.”
He said that this goal will need to address complex issues of the law of national security and of the intelligence and law enforcement agency practice.
“The intended result is a significant improvement of the respect for human rights to be incorporated into NSO policies and procedures and in the products sold under license intelligence and law enforcement agencies,” he said.
Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Steven Scheer and Alexander Smith