Global Affairs: The spy on your phone

Pegasus - the software by Israeli company NSO - is making headlines for being used to hack into the mobile phones of national leaders, journalists and dissidents. The bigger issue here is not about its targets or abilities, but how to strike a balance between technological innovation and the legitimate security needs of nations.

The bigger issue here is not about its targets or abilities, but how to strike a balance between technological innovation and the legitimate security needs of nations. PHOTO: AFP
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Enter the terms "Israel" and "NSO" into any Internet search engine, and you'd get about 16 million results at the moment. Not bad, one would think, for a country whose entire population is about half this number, or for its NSO software firm.

But this is one case where great publicity is bad publicity. For Israel's NSO company stands accused of enabling authoritarian governments around the world to hack into the mobile phones of their opponents and dissidents.

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