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Israel Wants NSO Proceedings to Remain Secret

The state has appealed to the court requesting proceedings regarding a petition filed by members of human rights organization Amnesty against cyber surveillance company NSO be conducted in chambers

Omer Kabir 17:5814.01.20
The Israeli Ministry of Defense has requested proceedings regarding a petition filed by members of human rights organization Amnesty International against cyber surveillance company NSO Group be conducted in chambers. Should the appeal—submitted by the State Attorney to the Tel Aviv District Court on Sunday ahead of the first hearing scheduled for Thursday,—be accepted, no information on the proceedings could be made public by neither the press nor private individuals.

 

The State Attorney also requested that Amnesty’s petition, which demands the ministry revokes NSO’s export license, be dismissed by the court. In its appeal, the ministry stated the petition should be dismissed as its requested judicial relief was “too broad and unclear” and as there is no precedent in which the court interfered in decisions directly related to foreign affairs and defense.

NSO co-founders Omri Lavie (right) and Shalev Hulio. Photo: Bar Cohen NSO co-founders Omri Lavie (right) and Shalev Hulio. Photo: Bar Cohen

 

The original petition was submitted in May, alleging that NSO’s spyware was used in attempted surveillance of an Amnesty staff member.

 

Founded in 2010, NSO develops and sells cyber surveillance tools for mobile phones and other devices. The company's clients include governments and law enforcement agencies, but its technology has been implicated in alleged human rights violations a few times in the past.

 

In documents it submitted to the court, NSO claimed Amnesty’s petition was not made in good faith, completely lacks factual basis, and requests a “vast, extreme, and particularly unrealistic relief.”