U.S. Unveils Historic Sanctions Against Intellexa Spyware for Endangering Privacy and National Security

Mar 19, 2024

In a historic and bold move, the U.S. government has implemented unprecedented sanctions against the Intellexa Consortium and its key figures for their roles in deploying spyware that jeopardizes privacy and national security. This pivotal action marks a significant escalation in the fight against the shadowy world of digital espionage, targeting entities that have exploited technology to conduct surveillance on U.S. officials, activists, and journalists. As the cybersecurity, information governance, and eDiscovery sectors grapple with the evolving landscape of digital threats, this development underscores the urgent need for robust defenses and ethical guidelines in technology use.

In a landmark action, the U.S. government announced sanctions against the Greece-based Intellexa Consortium and its leadership for the malicious use of spyware targeting U.S. officials, activists, and journalists. This decisive move aims to end one example of the pervasive reach of digital espionage tools wielded by oppressive regimes.

Focusing on the core figures, the sanctions froze the assets of Intellexa founder Tal Dilian and corporate off-shoring specialist Sara Hamou and barred Americans from dealing with them. Dilian, an ex-Israeli military officer turned tech entrepreneur, and Hamou, a key figure in managing Intellexa’s affairs, have come under scrutiny as the hidden faces behind commercial surveillance misuse on a global scale, as announced by The Treasury Department.

Continue reading at complexdiscovery.com

The Pall Mall Process on Cyber Intrusion Capabilities

The process significantly neglects the role of governments in proliferation of these capabilities.

By Sven Herpig, Alexandra Paulus
March 19, 2024

In February, France and the United Kingdom launched an initiative entitled the Pall Mall Process with the objective of “Tackling the Proliferation and Irresponsible Use of Commercial Cyber Intrusion Capabilities.” The initiative is intended to develop guidelines for the responsible use of commercially available capabilities leveraged in intrusive surveillance operations. Yet the organizers of the process fail to substantially address the elephant in the room: the leading role that governments play in fueling this currently out-of-control ecosystem.

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Spyware Exemplifies the Dangers of Commercial Cyber Intrusion Capabilities

Commercially available cyber intrusion capabilities, including intrusive surveillance software or “spyware,” are a bane of human rights defenders, journalists, dissidents, and other individuals who might criticize governments around the world. Spyware is often used to track and surveil their communications. High-profile cases of these types of incidents include the use of commercial intrusive surveillance software against family members and close contacts of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, members of the Greek government and opposition, and human rights lawyers, journalists, and anti-corruption activists in Mexico. Another noteworthy case is “Project Raven,” which involves a U.S. company selling intrusion capabilities to the cyber intrusion unit of the United Arab Emirates, staffed with former U.S. National Security Agency employees. The recently released Annual Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community states that “[f]rom 2011 to 2023, at least 74 countries contracted with private companies to obtain commercial spyware, which governments are increasingly using to target dissidents and journalists.”

Continue reading at www.lawfaremedia.org

Irish inclusion in anti-spyware pact significant, says senior Biden official

Senior US government says spyware makers have ‘sought to use Ireland as a financial pass-through’

By Charlie Taylor
March 19, 2024

Ireland has joined a US-led international effort to fight against spyware in a move described as significant by a senior member of the Biden administration, amid claims the country has aided the proliferation of such software.

Continue reading at www.businesspost.ie

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