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13 Sep 2019

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Novalpina Capital claims NSO Group received export licences from Bulgaria & Cyprus, but both states deny claims

"Is NSO Group’s infamous Pegasus spyware being traded through the EU?", 12 Sep 2019

When sophisticated surveillance systems are sold and used effectively without constraint, it puts civil society, free expression, and our democracies in the crosshairs. The brutal murder of... Jamal Khashoggi...[is] a reminder of the vulnerability of those speaking out for human rights. NSO Group is the notorious spyware firm that sells technology that has repeatedly been linked to violations of the human rights of individuals... Upon learning of the licenses reportedly issued by Bulgarian and Cypriot authorities to NSO Group, we have written to request transparency regarding the type and scope of licenses that were issued... Cyprus recently responded to our first letter... stating that they have never issued export licenses to NSO Group. Now, after our second round of outreach, Bulgaria has provided a similar response... However, as we remain concerned that the Bulgarian and Cypriot authorities have indeed issued licenses to NSO Group (or its affiliates), we’ve reached out directly to Novalpina Capital, which has controlling ownership in the company, to corroborate... In June...the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, published a new report at the UN Human Rights Council in which he examines the private surveillance industry...[T]he report recommends a global moratorium on the export and use of targeted surveillance technology...