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Questions over Israel's role in WhatsApp case against spyware firm - MW

WhatsApp said its lawsuit against Israeli spy software maker NSO Group has encountered an unusual delay because of its legal holdings involving the government, raising questions about Israel's role. in a company lawsuit.

WhatsApp filed a lawsuit in October, alleging that NSO Group hacked 1,400 users, including journalists, senior diplomats, government officials and human rights activists.

In a recent series of legal documents, the NSO Group - which has only hired a lawyer in the case - charged Facebook, the company that owns Whatsapp, lying to the court when it said it served the lawsuit. I follow the group in the process of a legal process called the Hague Convention. The Convention allows the litigants to serve the defendants in foreign legal documents.

Friday's filing is essential because Facebook lied to the court on its February 27 application, saying the service was completed in accordance with the treaty governing international judicial services called The Hague Convention, NSO Group said in a statement.

WhatsApp said in a court filing that it was not aware of the correspondence from Israeli legal authorities at the time of the previous filing, and blamed an administrative supervisor for the burglary.

In its statement, NSO Group said Israel has not yet officially completed the process. In response, WhatsApp submitted documents, including emails, pointing out what it called an unusual delay in using the Hague Convention of Israel.

In an exchange filed with a court in California, a lawyer representing WhatsApp wrote an angry email to an Israeli court official, in which he said that he had sent information on the Cong's application. The Hague convention declared by Israeli officials is missing.

I was completely confused and had to ask if we were discussing similar requests, Aaron wrote Aaron Lukken, who represents WhatsApp. He added that in seven years of sending similar requests to other authorities, he had never been asked the same questions.

A court official responded by saying that the requirements are standards of practice.

It is unclear whether the legal spat represents a common bureaucratic barrier or whether, as WhatsApp proposes, the delay is abnormal.

The NSO Group has consistently denied the allegations against it in the press releases, and vowed to oppose legal action. It has said that its hacking technology is used by governments and law enforcement officials to combat crime and terrorism.

A judge in the lawsuit recently ruled in favor of WhatsApp and allowed a default process to begin, after the NSO Group did not respond to legal proceedings. That changed on Friday, when the group first appeared in the case. WhatsApp agreed that the default ruling had to be vacant, now NSO Group has responded to its request.

Companies are currently arguing over the NSO Group's request for a delay in the proceedings and their claim that Facebook has used manual tactics, to deceive the court because it thinks it has restored Successful case.

In turn, WhatsApp pointed out the public statements of NSO Group Group about the incident, which clearly shows the company has known about the lawsuit since it was filed in October.

NSO Group declined to comment further. WhatsApp declined to comment.

Israel classifies the NSO Group's spyware products as weapons, meaning the government ultimately controls and licenses what the company can sell abroad.

The government protects its weapon sales details closely.

Rights groups have accused Israel of limiting sales to foreign governments. They argued that there was a conflict of interest because the government could benefit from deregulation of the private sector to strengthen diplomatic relations with some state buyers.

Amnesty International and other rights groups took legal action last year against Israel's Defense Ministry, demanding that they revoke the NSO Group's export license after allegations that activists had targeting.

A Tel Aviv court decided in January to hold the trial behind closed doors for national security reasons. Danna Ingleton, deputy director of Amnesty Tech, condemned the decision at the time. She said that there was an obvious public interest for the case being tried in an open court.

After the court's decision, Ingleton questioned the cozy complicity between governments and the shady surveillance industry.

The Guardian understood an unspent sentence.

In a separate case in Israel, the famous Saudi activist, Omar Abdulaziz, also sued the NSO Group. Argued in his case that Saudi agents used his Pegasus spyware to read conversations with Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post column was later killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. .

The judge in that case was discovered in January that there was no basis for dismissal and denied the NSO Group's request that it be kept confidential.

A spokesman for the NSO Group said at the time the company would appeal the decision. The latest sentence is part of a temporary proceeding that does not mention the merits of the allegations [Abdulaziz]; We remain confident that, once considered, the court will reject them, he said.

The security guard contacted the Israeli government to comment on Tuesday, a holiday in Israel.


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