Middle East & Africa

November 27, 2019

Israeli spyware firm employees sue Facebook for blocking their accounts


[ By Kavita Krishnan ]

Facebook

Facebook had disabled accounts of few employees of the Israeli spyware company NSO Group as a result of the sophisticated cyber attack through WhatsApp by the NSO Group and its employees. The NSO Group had Eight employees of NSO Group have sued Facebook demanding that the social networking giant must unblock their accounts on its platform, as well as Instagram.

The plaintiffs asked the Tel Aviv District Court to order Facebook to unblock the accounts until the issues are decided in court. It has been alleged that Facebook blocked the accounts arbitrarily and without notice. The lawsuit also accuses Facebook of violating Israeli privacy law by improperly using personal information that Facebook collected in order to identify them as NSO Group employees.

Facebook said in a statement saying that it had disabled “relevant accounts” after attributing a “sophisticated cyber attack” to NSO Group and its employees. It further said that those actions “continue to be necessary for security reasons, including preventing additional attacks.”

Facebook sued NSO Group in October for creating the Pegasus software that allowed its clients to spy on communications of 1,400 WhatsApp users, including some in India that involved journalists, diplomats and civil society members.

The employees said they would continue to help governments around the world prevent crime and terrorism through their technology.

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