Pegasus project turns spotlight on spyware firm NSO’s ties to Israeli state

Disclosures about political figures put Israel under increasing pressure over extent of surveillance

Back in 2017, few would have disputed that Israel and Saudi Arabia were regional foes. Officially, the countries had no diplomatic ties. Yet for a small group of Israeli businesspeople attending secret meetings with Saudi officials in Vienna, Cyprus and Riyadh that summer, there were signs relations were warming.

The businesspeople represented NSO Group. Their mission was to sell the Saudis NSO’s weapons–grade spyware system, Pegasus.

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