back to article We're likely only seeing 'the tip of the iceberg' of Pegasus spyware use against the US

Google and internet rights groups have called on Congress to weigh in on spyware, asking for sanctions and increased enforcement against so-called legit surveillanceware makers. During an open House Intelligence Committee hearing on Wednesday, US lawmakers heard testimony from Citizen Lab senior researcher John Scott-Railton; …

  1. HildyJ Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Huawei not?

    Pegasus should be sanctioned as much as we sanction Chinese and Russian countries. Their customers use their malware not only to spy on dissidents but to crack down on them or even kill them. They are more responsible for terrorist actions than they are for stopping terrorist actions. They operate with no constraints other than their promises that they are doing nothing wrong.

    1. VoiceOfTruth

      Re: Huawei not?

      -> Pegasus should be sanctioned as much as we sanction Chinese and Russian countries.

      In which case Israel should be sanctioned. There is no way at all that NSO and Pegasus would be allowed to exist without permission from the Israeli government and deep ties to Mossad.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Huawei not?

      They operate with no constraints other than their promises that they are doing nothing wrong.

      Agreed in principle, HildyJ, but they promise nothing of the sort. There is no "promise", there -- only that smarmy, shit-eating, used-car-salesman grin.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Almighty Ethereal Gatecrashers and Holy Grail Warriors are Us/Users

    NSO also claims the software can only be used "for the purpose of preventing and investigating terrorism and other serious crimes," despite numerous reports from Citizen Lab, Google, and the media of Pegasus being used to spy on journalists, activists, and politicians by their opponents.

    One thing NSO cannot* claim is it easily repurposed for the prevention of investigation into its use/misuse/abuse in terrorism and other serious crimes ...... which makes it a prime target of virtual interest to many a physical body/secret organisation/spooky outfit/Sublime Surreal Subterranean RAT ... and thus perversely also extremely valuable with costs and returns on investment that are priceless ........ which is not dissimilar to what HildyJ said ....

    Pegasus should be sanctioned as much as we sanction Chinese and Russian countries. Their customers use their malware not only to spy on dissidents but to crack down on them or even kill them. They are more responsible for terrorist actions than they are for stopping terrorist actions. They operate with no constraints other than their promises that they are doing nothing wrong.

    ..... although being quite fundamentally different

    * .... well they could of course, but that would be a very strange thing for them to do if they want to be able to claim their software can only be used "for the purpose of preventing and investigating terrorism and other serious crimes,"

    1. very angry man

      Re: Almighty Ethereal Gatecrashers and Holy Grail Warriors are Us/Users

      Good to see you back.

      the yanks are just pissed that this software is atracting all this atenion, as the yanks are the worst for all govts at spying and passing on industral securets to there industerys THE WORST.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google?

    "Google and internet rights groups have called on Congress to weigh in on spyware,"

    Google? The company that gives its keyboard permission to send off every keystroke? The company that gives its software permission to install any software any time to do anything on Android devices? The company that installs a tracking ID, which it can coordinate behind the scenes thus creating a super-cookie, but only for Google? The company that tracks devices more accurately than GPS, even devices that never consent to location tracking, simply by using every Android device as a sniffer for surrounding devices?

    That Google?

    That Google wants to express its concern about spyware?

    1. UCAP Silver badge

      Re: Google?

      Yep. That Google. The one and only.

      The irony is nearly overwhelming me!

    2. pavel.petrman Silver badge

      Re: Google?

      Google tend to react very strongly to anyone trying to jeopardise their monopol on mass surveilance and data snooping.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google?

      Turf War.

    4. Roj Blake

      Re: Google?

      That's got to be at least a Morrisette (or 10 kilospoons) of irony.

    5. Kane Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Google?

      "That Google wants to express its concern about spyware?"

      That Google wants to express its concern about the competition!

    6. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Google?

      Yup! The real Google motto is "all your data are belong to us".

      And US Congress here should remember it enacted something called the CLOUD Act that allows US courts to order access to data stored in foreign jurisdictions. Without the foreign government permission, that's called "espionage".

    7. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Google?

      Yes, that Google; the company is seriously infected with NIH syndrome.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google?

      Is anyone suggesting to Google, Apple et.al. that perhaps they should be sufficiently security advanced so as not to enable the encroaching software access?

      After all, they advertise promising various levels of user's protection, (don't they?)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Misinformation......Again!!

    Quote: "...the House Intelligence Committee has taken steps toward prohibiting cyber espionage..."

    .....Ah....the good folk in Fort Meade are going to be made redundant then?

    If only..........................

  5. pavel.petrman Silver badge

    Prime ministers

    I have spoken to a number of police in several European countries, many of whom confirmed that their respective police forces were indeed officially sanctioned to use NSO's software (among others). This article sums the situation nicely: it only becomes a problem when prime ministers' phones are affected.

    I do hope that same prime ministers' phones will be the first ones to become equipped with the "completely secure encryption methods that allow access to law enforcement for the puropse of fighting child pornography", otherwise we, the plebs, have no chance of digital privacy.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Irony...

    Google standing up for privacy...?

    From the last article I read (apart from the spider one - ew):

    "In short, Google has created an unsolvable dilemma for themselves; Google is addicted to tracking, but Google also knows that tracking on the Web is on the way out, for both legal and ethical reasons. Unfortunately, instead of making the hard changes needed to become truly private, Google has again (and again) kicked the can down the road. The result is that Google continues knowingly and intentionally to subject their users to flagrant privacy harm."

  7. Someone Else Silver badge

    "Tomato, tomahto"...

    NSO also claims the software can only be used "for the purpose of preventing and investigating terrorism and other serious crimes," [...]

    For various values of "terrorism". I mean, in some folks1 minds, simply reporting the news is an act of terrorism, if not outright treason.

    1...including more than a few Republicans...

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: "Tomato, tomahto"...

      Well, of course. That's what makes their "terrorism" defense such a useful canard to hide behind. "We tell customers they can only use it against terrorists!" they cry, knowing full well that 1) their customers are happy to define nearly anything as terrorism, and 2) there's no way that requirement can be enforced anyway.

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