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7 Jan 2021

Access Now

Human rights organisations respond to NSO: victims’ voices will not be silenced

Today, January 7, Access Now, along with seven other human rights organizations, filed a reply to NSO Group’s opposition to the coalition’s amicus brief in the case of WhatsApp v. NSO in the U.S. Federal 9th Circuit Court. In their opposition, NSO argued that the court should reject the brief on the grounds that it duplicates other amici briefs and introduces allegedly impermissible facts about NSO and its customers.

In reply, Access Now argues that the brief meets the Federal Rules of Procedure for amicus briefs and is distinct from all other submitted briefs as it presents the Court with the unique context and legal perspective. Most importantly, it provides the court with valuable perspective of the civil society actors targeted by NSO’s spyware and the grave consequences that unlawful extra-judicial surveillance has on human rights activists around the world.

“It is not a coincidence that NSO has singled out our brief to oppose based on what they claim are ‘unverified assertions,’” said Natalia Krapiva, Tech-Legal Counsel at Access Now. “They do not want the court to hear from Access Now and our partners because we have played a key role in unearthing and reporting on major NSO surveillance abuses in Morocco, Mexico, and beyond. They do not want the court to hear the personal stories of the Pegasus victims because of how compelling they are, because they contradict NSO’s story that their spyware only targets criminals.”