Earlier this month, the news broke that an unknown assailant used NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware tool to target the phones of nine U.S. State Department employees. This breach is only the latest in a series of revelations on hacks into the personal devices of journalists, human rights defenders, lawyers, and high-level government officials across the world. The spyware firm’s tools have enabled authoritarian regimes and other bad actors to strip away their victims’ privacy and violate their rights, with few restraints, while the company profits.
To evade accountability, NSO has long claimed to have control of who uses its spyware, meanwhile arguing that it doesn’t have insight into what clients do with it. But now, after years of research, reporting, and global activism, as well as the brave efforts of victims coming forward, we are securing tangible victories in the fight against NSO and spyware worldwide. Like other countries, the U.S. is finally stepping up to curb use of NSO’s technology that violates human rights.