Adam Sandler comedy producer wants to buy Pegasus spyware
Exclusive details have become available, for which the American producer needs to buy spyware.
The White House has warned that it will look into any attempts by U.S. companies to acquire foreign commercial surveillance software, such as Pegasusto determine if they pose a “counterintelligence threat” to the US government.
The statement was made after the Guardian reported that Robert Symonds, producer of Adam Sandler’s films, plans to acquire an Israeli firm NSO Group. The company has created powerful Pegasus spyware that can hack into users’ phones remotely and intercept all of their communications.
Symonds was recently appointed head of the Luxembourg holding company that controls NSO. According to sources, he wants to take control of the assets of the NSO Group and give exclusive access to Pegasus to a five-state intelligence alliance (five eyes) – USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Pegasus has caused a lot of controversy due to its ability to infiltrate phones without the knowledge of users and activate the camera and microphone. This software can also intercept messages in encrypted applications such as Signal. Pegasus has been found on the phones of journalists, human rights activists, politicians and others who are considered dissidents or critics in different countries.
The Biden administration launched an interagency effort to crack down on the proliferation of Pegasus and other foreign commercial surveillance software. In March, Biden signed a decree , which prohibits all US government agencies from using such software. The White House also warned US companies that deals with firms on the US Entity List do not exempt them from restrictions. NSO has been on this list since 2021.
Last year, the American defense firm L3Harris refused to buy NSO Group after facing backlash from the White House.
Earlier it became known that the widow of the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi filed a lawsuit against the NSO Group, accusing it of the company installed Pegasus spyware on the widow’s phone which caused her to quit her job, fear for the safety of her family, and constantly “look back.”
Additionally, digital rights advocacy group Access Now stated that Pegasus spyware was being used by Azerbaijan. to spy on at least 10 citizens of Armenia (iPhone owners) between October 2020 and December 2022 due to a border conflict between the two countries. This is the first documented evidence of the use of Pegasus spyware in the context of a global war, the investigation claims.