Israel slashed its list of countries eligible to buy its cyber technologies following concern over possible abuses abroad of a hacking tool sold by Israeli firm NSO Group, Ynet’s sister publication and financial newspaper Calcalist reported on Thursday.
The newspaper, which did not disclose its sources, said Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates were among countries that would now be barred from importing Israeli cyber tech. The list of countries licensed to buy it had been cut to just 37 states, down from 102.
The Defense Ministry, responding to the report, said in a statement it takes “appropriate steps” when terms of usage set in export licenses it issues are violated, but stopped short of confirming any licenses had been revoked.
Morocco and the UAE, which both normalized relations with Israel last year, as well as Saudi Arabia and Mexico were among countries where Pegasus has been linked to political surveillance, according to Amnesty International and the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab which studies surveillance.
NSO has denied any wrongdoing, saying it sells its tools only to governments and law enforcement agencies and has safeguards in place to prevent misuse.