It’s possible that the Israeli government might impose a temporary ban on new businesses from Mossad. There is a strain of tech-bro that has the intellect to design zero-click vulnerabilities but does not have the common sense that is required to eliminate bad actors from their client lists. This strain has been fostered by Israeli intelligence services, who have served as the Petri dishes for it.
The Israeli government has some responsibility for this. Diplomacy through the sale of malware was the result of tight collaboration between this organization and NSO Group, as well as, likely, other companies operating in the same industry.
After several months of unfavorable coverage, NSO was placed on a blacklist by the United States government. It was also probed in the country where it was founded, which eventually led to the Israeli government (hesitantly) placing restrictions on the customers the firm could sell to.
Israeli origins can be found in more than only NSO, another malware vendor. Israel is home to Candiru, another nation that is subject to sanctions from the United States. Citrix, an additional exploit developer with connections to Israeli intelligence agencies, has the same problem. The virus developed by Citrix has been at the core of a recent incident involving domestic surveillance in Greece. The software was used to target members of the opposition as well as journalists. This resulted in Greek law enforcement authorities conducting a search warrant at Cytrox’s local office, most likely as a continuation of the investigation.
According to a study by Fanny Potkin & Poppy McPherson for Reuters, there is another Israeli spyware manufacturer that is generating headlines for all the wrong reasons.
According to papers examined by Reuters, the Israeli company Cognyte Software Ltd. won a tender to provide intercept malware to a Myanmar government telecoms corporation a month prior to the military coup that took place in February 2021 in the Asian nation of Myanmar.
No matter who is in charge of the government of Myanmar, it is not safe to entrust them with highly sophisticated spyware. Over the course of the majority of the previous 60 years, the nation has been governed by a military dictatorship of some kind. The 2021 coup d’état just resulted in a minor reorganization of the military dictatorship’s hierarchical structure. During this whole span of time, citizens, particularly Muslim ones, have been subjected to a severe level of persecution. Oppression in Myanmar entails death for the country’s Muslim population, often known as “ethnic cleansing.”
Cognate should not have ever agreed to sell the Myanmar government any of its products since there was a high probability that any malware that was given to the Government of Myanmar would be exploited to target political opponents and dissidents. That is the course of action that ought to have been voluntarily chosen by it since doing so is the appropriate thing to do.
In order for the deal to go through, however, it was necessary for Cognyte to break the law, which is another reason why they shouldn’t have done it.
In accordance with a legal complaint that was just recently filed with Israel’s attorney general and was disclosed on Sunday, the deal was made despite the fact that Israel has claimed that it has stopped the transfer of defense technology to Myanmar following a ruling that was handed down in 2017 by Israel’s Supreme Court.
According to the documentation that was viewed by Reuters, the deal was completed towards the end of the year 2020, ostensibly with the aid of the regulatory body Myanmar Telecommunications and Post (MPT). It would appear, given its closeness to the start of the coup, that this was purposefully obtained to be used by the military administration, which intended to challenge an election they lost in Mid – November 2020 by overturning the government that had been democratically elected three months later.
There are two possible explanations for how this deal was completed despite the fact that the government has repeatedly said that it does not approve sales to Myanmar. Neither of these choices is a good one.
Either the state never ceased issuing export licenses to technology companies who hoped to sell to Myanmar’s government, or Cognyte disregarded the prohibition and completed the deal without having obtained the necessary export license. Due to the fact that the paperwork indicates that Cognyte was the successful bidder, the corporation did not even bother attempting to conceal its unlawful export by going via a third party. Or it could have been both: a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding the sales of spyware to those who violate human rights.
Whatever the circumstances, that’s another black eye for the Israeli government, which hasn’t done much to stop local businesses from selling sophisticated technology to the undesirables. It is also an indictment of the country’s intelligence services, which appear to be able to attract extremely skilled people who, for some reason, come to the conclusion that the logical consequence of the lessons they’ve learned protecting their nation is to abandon any surviving ethics or morality once they enter the private sector. This is an indictment of the country.