US website Axios reported that Israeli officials are pressuring US President Joe Biden’s administration to remove Israel’s cyber spying company NSO, which owns Pegasus, from the US blacklist.
It quoted two Israeli and one American official stating that the Biden administration is considering the request, while another American official denied this.
The site stated that “Removing NSO from the U.S. blacklist would be a dramatic reversal by the Biden administration and would likely be criticized by progressives in the Democratic Party and Congress, as well as many in the cybersecurity community.”
READ: Spain questions Israel’s NSO CEO over Pegasus hacking scandal
Last November, the US Department of Commerce added Israel’s NSO and Candiru cyber intelligence companies to the blacklist of companies that it describes as engaging in activities that undermine US national security and the foreign interests of America.
Israel has been under global pressure to stop the export of spyware since last July, after a group of international rights and media organisations revealed that the Pegasus programme produced by NSO was used to hack the phones of journalists, prime ministers, officials and human rights activists in many countries.
NSO has also faced lawsuits and criticism from major technology companies accusing it of putting its customers at risk of hacking; Apple was among the most prominent companies that decided to sue it.