(AmericanProsperity.com) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) claims they did nothing wrong in testing Pegasus software created by an Israeli company that allows it to track a user’s mobile phone. An FBI spokesperson told The Washington Post they have never used it during investigations.
FBI’s Statement On Testing Spyware Technology
According to a statement released by the FBI, they often work with emerging technology companies to learn more about the legal use of such software, help fight crime, and protect American citizens and our civil liberties.
The FBI claims it routinely tests technical solutions and problems in case a dangerous or sophisticated piece of software falls into the hands of criminals. However, they say the spyware in question was not operational and did not support any specific FBI investigations. Instead, the license obtained by the software company was limited to evaluation and product testing purposes only.
According to reports, the Pegasus software’s misuse has gotten the company NSO in trouble and landed it in the middle of some high-profile invasion of privacy and human rights abuse cases. Certain governments have allegedly used the product to spy on journalists, human rights activists, and political dissidents.
Pegasus software was also recently used to hack into the mobile phones of individuals working at the State Department.
The NSO defended itself, saying they have ended the contracts of those who misused its software. They claim to only sell software to law enforcement and government agencies who seek to prevent crime and fight terrorism.
NSO Spyware Technology Company Blacklisted By The US Commerce Department
Unfortunately, the company’s efforts to mitigate damages were not enough as the US Commerce Department (USCD) blacklisted NSO from doing business in the United States. But in November of 2021, the USCD said it would reconsider its position on NSO, saying their technologies supported the nation’s “national security policies and interests.”
In a lawsuit, Apple Inc. sought to ban NSO from using any Apple products or services that said it would begin notifying users targeted by state-sponsored hacking. The US blacklist put the company in financial ruin; it struggled to repay a $450 million loan.
Just last month, Moody’s Investors Service said the company is close to violating its loan terms.
The FBI’s statement comes after reports revealed Israeli police used the spyware on citizens, who say officials utilized Pegasus software without authorization to spy on politicians and protestors. The FBI has enough trouble with public trust. Testing spyware that can track people’s mobile phones doesn’t help matters much.
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