Khashoggi widow sues Israel spyware company NSO over phone hacking – Middle East Monitor

The widow of murdered Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, says in a lawsuit that surveillance software built by the Israeli surveillance company, NSO Group, was used to spy on her messages in the months leading up to her husband’s death, Reuters reports.

In a civil suit filed Thursday in the Northern District of Virginia, Hanan Elatr Khashoggi said that NSO “intentionally targeted” her devices and “caused her immense harm, both through the tragic loss of her husband and through her own loss of safety, privacy and autonomy”.

NSO initially said it had not seen the lawsuit. When the firm was sent a copy, it did not immediately respond. The company – which markets surveillance technology to intelligence agencies and law enforcement around the world – has previously denied that its technology was used to hack Khashoggi. He was a Washington Post columnist, who was murdered on the grounds of Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

READ: Former NSA head received $700,000 in S. Arabia consultancy contracts, despite Khashoggi assassination

US intelligence concluded in 2021 that Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, approved an operation to capture or kill Khashoggi. The Saudi government has denied any involvement by the Crown Prince and has maintained that Khashoggi’s killing was a heinous crime by a rogue group.

Saudi use of the Pegasus spying tool has come up in other controversial cases. Last year, Reuters reported that an attempt by Saudi authorities to wield Pegasus against Saudi women’s rights activist, Loujain Al-Hathloul, backfired, allowing researchers to uncover thousands of other victims and triggering a cascade of legal and government action.

The US government has imposed restrictions on doing business with NSO over human rights concerns, and the company faces a barrage of legal action over its spy services, including from Apple Inc., and WhatsApp owner, Meta Platforms Inc.

MBS and truth about Khashoggi - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

MBS and truth about Khashoggi – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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