The US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has added NSO Group to the Entity List, effectively blacklisting it.
The NSO Group made headlines when The Washington Post reported that its Pegasus spyware was being used to target the smartphones — including the Apple iPhone — of journalists, political dissidents, and human rights activists around the world. The software is commonly used by law enforcement to target criminals, but the Post’s reporting revealed that NSO Group was also selling the software to regimes with a history of oppressive behavior.
The reaction to the Post’s exposé has been swift, with companies severing ties to the group and regulators calling for investigations and action.
The US Commerce Department has now added NSO Group to its Entity List, which prevents US companies from selling their technology to the company.
“The United States is committed to aggressively using export controls to hold companies accountable that develop, traffic, or use technologies to conduct malicious activities that threaten the cybersecurity of members of civil society, dissidents, government officials, and organizations here and abroad,” US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo said in a statement.