By Muslim Mirror Staff
New Delhi: Israeli authorities secretly granted license to spyware companies to work for Saudi Arabia despite accusations of the misuse of surveillance tools by the Saudi government to suppress its critiques, The New York Times reported quoting anonymous Israeli officials.
After the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018, the Saudi government was widely accused of misusing technology to abet heinous crimes against journalists and human rights activists. Amid growing criticism at the time, Israel’s NGO Group had cancelled its contract with Saudi Arabia.
But the Israeli government encouraged NSO and two other companies to continue working with Saudi Arabia, and issued a new license for a fourth to do similar work.
NSO sold Pegasus, a hacking software or spyware, to Saudi Arabia in 2017. The kingdom used the spyware as part of a ruthless campaign to crush dissent inside the kingdom and to hunt down Saudi dissidents abroad.
Israel’s Ministry of Defense also licensed for Saudi work a company called Candiru. The country has also granted licenses to at least two other firms, Verint, which was licensed before the Khashoggi killing, and Quadream, which signed a contract with Saudi Arabia after the killing.
Saudi Arabia has not officially recognised Israel so far but it has been collaborating with the Zionist state particularly to hunt down critiques of both the states.