The US blacklists the company that created the Pegasus program

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The Israeli company behind the controversial Pegasus software has been added to the US trade blacklist. Pegasus has reportedly been used by certain countries to monitor the phones of human rights activists and journalists, reports Radio Free Europe.

The US has now placed its manufacturer, NSO Group, on the “list of entities” with which it prohibits business relations.

NSO Group said it was “shocked” by the decision and added that its technology has helped maintain US national security by “preventing terrorism and crime”.

The organization has long maintained that its software is only sold to the military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies in countries where human rights are respected.

But months ago, it was accused of selling its technology to authoritarian governments, which then targeted innocent people.

US officials said NSO Group and another Israeli firm, Candiru, acted “contrary to US national security or foreign policy interests”.

The US Commerce Department said its decision “is based on evidence that these entities have developed and supplied software to foreign governments, which have used these tools to maliciously target government officials, journalists, business people, activists , academics and embassy employees”.

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