back to article NSO Group: Facebook tried to license our spyware to snoop on its own addicts – the same spyware it's suing us over

NSO Group – sued by Facebook for developing Pegasus spyware that targeted WhatsApp users – this week claimed Facebook tried to license the very same surveillance software to snoop on its own social-media addicts. The Israeli spyware maker's CEO Shalev Hulio alleged in a statement [PDF] to a US federal district court that in …

  1. Someone Else Silver badge


    Often, here and elsewhere, when two BFCs (Big Fucking Corporations) square off, the phrase "get the popcorn" is bandied about, as the proposition of two BFCs airing their dirty laundry can be rather entertaining. Here, we have the rightly reviled Facebook squaring off against some scumbag spyware-slinger (who has a publicly identified CEO...who for some reason isn't in jail). Watching these two BFCs go at it, and eating a snack at the same time, is likely to result in anything from a bad case of indigestion to wholesale projectile vomiting. And there's no one to root for, either.

    Is there an "anti-popcorn" we can munch on for this particular conflagration?

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge

      Re: Anti-Popcorn?

      Is there an "anti-popcorn" we can munch on for this particular conflagration?

      That would be pushcorn then.

      But for both you need to guard against stack over- and underflows.

      1. Julz Silver badge

        Re: Anti-Popcorn?


    2. Irongut Silver badge

      Re: Anti-Popcorn?

      > some scumbag spyware-slinger (who has a publicly identified CEO...who for some reason isn't in jail)

      This isn't just some random spyware developer, this is the software used by oppressive regimes to track and spy on journalists, human rights campaigners and their opposition. Before arresting them and throwing them in some hell hole they will never get out of or executing them. The reason their CEO isn't in jail is those oppresive regimes include governments in the west as well as their powerful allies in countries like Saudi and Turkey.

    3. ColonelClaw

      Re: Anti-Popcorn?

      For some reason I am reminded of the time Fayed and the Hamiltons were in court suing each other over something or other. All I can remember thinking is surely there has to be a way they can both lose?

      1. My-Handle Silver badge

        Re: Anti-Popcorn?

        In this scenario, I favour the outcome where the two companies rabidly sue and counter-sue each other until all the money has gone to the lawyers, bankrupting both.

        Unfortunately I've yet to conceive a scenario where the lawyers lose too.

  2. First Light Bronze badge

    Dumb deflection

    This must have happened as alleged since the Facebook response to the Reg is an attempt at deflection and does not include the magic words "it didn't happen" or even "it didn't happen that way."

    Loathsome people and organizations.

  3. croc

    Why do you want to know the dimensions of my anal sphincter? Hulio? Zuck?

  4. don't you hate it when you lose your account Silver badge

    Pity the judge

    He's now got the job of juggling turds

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Pity the judge

      The Judge can always send out for a pair of those arm length rubber gloves that vets use.

      If I were him, I would also get nose plugs as everything about this stinks.

      I wonder if the zuck is going after them out of spite following their refusal to do business with him.

  5. henryd

    Sounds like the standard defense already used by the makers of guns and light aircraft. Aren’t there already precedents that manufacturers aren’t responsible for their customers actions?

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Yup! Exactly the same arguments that Faecesbook comes out with when people complain about the lies/bullying/child abuse/fake-news that their users post on their site!

  6. Flak

    NSO [...] cannot be held accountable for the actions of its customers

    This is an argument that has been used many times - and sometimes successfully - at least in court (e.g. US gun industry).

    In some cases that statement clearly doesn't hold (e.g. tobacco industry).

    If a company makes a product which has as its sole or at least main purpose the spying on end users (even if it is 'only' governments), it is easy to decide where on the spectrum this case resides.

    Facebook's hypocrisy is mindblowing!

    AC, because I am not responsible for what my fingers type :-)

  7. Trollslayer

    The motto of the US

    Devil take the hindmost.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: The motto of the US

      +1 for the essence of the post. Not sure how it applies to this particular context, but it tends to be accurate generally.

  8. LDS Silver badge

    "as it traveled over untrusted and insecure Wi-Fi networks"

    Should be "as it traveled over non Facebook wholly controlled networks, to avoid to leak data to competitors"

  9. KBeee Bronze badge

    Who to root for?

    Balaam Vs. Beelzebub

  10. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Are there any safe networks out there?

    I expect that some people are wondering why they didn't use the TOR network, designed to be perfectly safe and anonymous ... but like everything else, it can be cracked too if you have access to a couple of items on the phone. Essentially I think we need to assume that all network communications are vulnerable these days if you are going to use your phone. Sure, the governments are all complaining that they need access to today's "secure" channels but Mandy Rice-Davies applies.

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So, a tussle between Facebook and a spyware maker

    This is one case where I would dearly like to say : hang 'em both and let God decide.

  12. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Is it wrong?

    To be cheering for the lawyers?

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Is it wrong?


      I'm sure it was a Douglas Adams' quote, something about life being in contempt of court and confiscating it from all present.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021