One one hand, thee was a reason to be joyful. There was another article by Stephanie Kirchgaessner, so let the bashing begin. On the other hand, this is actually a good article. It is also an important article. And there is a stage where we need to consider what is and what could be. The article ‘Rights groups urge EU to ban NSO over clients’ use of Pegasus spyware’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/law/2021/dec/03/rights-groups-urge-eu-to-ban-nso-over-clients-use-of-pegasus-spyware). This is interesting in two ways. We see no such ban on Remington, Fabrique national, Glock and a few other firms. And I would like to add that the NSA has done worse, much worse, so why is it now onto the NSO because their clients are skating on the edge of what some people might seem as ‘unacceptable’?
We see “Letter signed by 86 organisations asks for sanctions against Israeli firm, alleging governments used its software to abuse rights”, we see it, but do we realise what is going on? We are holding the publisher of a law book accountable for criminals using those books to stay out of prison. And it is not mere criminals using the books, it is governments using the books.
This is a slippery slope and as Stephanie Kirchgaessner illuminates this, we are left with questions. I personally want to see a list of these 86 organisations. I am not saying that the Guardian is lying, I am stating that the NSO and us have a right to see these accusers. Yes, we see Access Now, Amnesty International and the Digital Rights Foundation. But where are the others? We also see “the EU’s sanctions regime gave it the power to target entities that were responsible for “violations or abuses that are of serious concern as regards to the objectives of the common foreign and security policy, including violations or abuses of freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, or of freedom of opinion and expression””, it is here that the problem starts. We see “freedom of opinion and expression”, but who allows for that? Who allows for ‘peaceful assembly’? Consider the US and their ‘Black Lives Matter’ setting. We see “Some states have recently increased the severity of criminal penalties for protesters along political lines”, so where is your freedom of expression and opinion now?
There is an issue, there is and in this Stephanie is right, but is there any kind of stage where the NSO can be held responsible for the actions of their clients? What do you think will happen when the NSO sells what they have to China and/or Russia? Do you think these 86 organisations will have anything to say then?
And there is a larger stage, the stage everyone is silent about, the stage we all know but no one is willing to look there. We are so willing to blame the NSO group, but no one is wondering why Apple and Google didn’t have better protection? We can understand that there are always, but they do not seem to work and for some reason, Apple and Google have a massive problem. So when we consider Forbes ‘Apple Starts Sending NSO Hack Warnings To iPhone Users’, why was this not done earlier, and more important why was the problem not fixed 5 years ago? Apple is playing the cautious game, leaving the NSO group out of the debate with “State-sponsored attackers are very well-funded and sophisticated, and their attacks evolve over time. Detecting such attacks relies on threat intelligence signals that are often imperfect and incomplete. It’s possible that some Apple threat notifications may be false alarms, or that some attacks are not detected. We are unable to provide information about what causes us to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behaviour to evade detection in the future.” So why are new phones not more secure? Why are cyber locks a problem? Because Apple (Google too) caters to people who need automation to get better and more revenue and that crosses with the needs of some players who need access.
In all this, the simplest solution was that no one gets access to your mobile, and it is not a new concept. The Blackberry started that idea and was quickly pushed out of the market (they were not the cheapest either). I saw this come up a few times when I was considering the evolution of a console (name
xxxxxxxx redacted) , but the premise is larger and it is all linked to the simple setting that Facebook opened a door and EVERYONE wants to get through. In this case the NSO group saw that as a great idea to collect information and they are not alone, let that be clear, they might be the most visible player, but they are not the only player, but the article does not give that part, do they? You see there were a few nations on the list (that everyone ignores) and they are not NSO group clients, but they have certain abilities, so they are a client of someone and these 86 organisations are about to give that one player (with no scruples) the entire market.
Did you consider that?
Moreover, the accusations from some against the NSO group are still absent of evidence. Several newspapers gave light that the list of 10,000 was bogus and it was from 2017. In addition, I found the financial link missing, 10,000 hacks implied that the NSO group had received in excess of $600,000,000 and they have not. Some give us specifically worded accusations. Like the Citizens Lab giving us that 36 phones might (emphasis on might) have been transgressed upon, 36 out of 76, and we seemingly delete the word ‘might’ with our minds, but I did not. I am not opposing the Citizens Lab, but 36 might out of a debatable list of 10,000 is a long stretch and so far none of the media have given us any clear evidence, but these 86 organisations see there limelight moment, so they are all crying foul (or is that fowl).
I for one want to see the media become responsible and hand over a dashboard of alleged victims. 10,000 numbers, that would be a massive list, but a dashboard stating how many are government, how many are journalists (which was in one article no more than 180, I think) making that a mere 1.8%. How many infections per nation? The list goes on and the media over all these months presented ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. But now we see “Letter signed by 86 organisations asks for sanctions against Israeli firm”, all whilst no clear evidence has been presented EVER. This is ab out something else and it has nothing to do with the NSO group, it has everything to do with a group of journalists who have become obsolete and as we see event after even (like that running Joke called the ICIJ), how much evidence have we see on their so called 11.9 million leaked documents with 2.9 terabytes of data, and zero (none) dashboard giving a summary, even with all that time and 600 journalists no one had time to give us a run down, that is how pathetic the media has become. Oh and they promised not to investigate the source, interesting is it not?
All flaming for digital revenue and presenting close to nothing, flames and way too little substance. So when we ask these media players for clarity, their most likely answer will be ‘It is difficult’