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31 Jul 2023

Mark Mazzetti, Ronen Bergman and Adam Goldman, The New York Times

USA: FBI investigation unveils that the FBI was the unknown agency violating entity list

"Who Paid for a Mysterious Spy Tool? The F.B.I., an F.B.I. Inquiry Found." 31 July 2023

When The New York Times reported in April that a contractor had purchased and deployed a spying tool made by NSO, the contentious Israeli hacking firm, for use by the U.S. government, White House officials said they were unaware of the contract and put the F.B.I. in charge of figuring out who might have been using the technology.

After an investigation, the F.B.I. uncovered at least part of the answer: It was the F.B.I.

The deal for the surveillance tool between the contractor, Riva Networks, and NSO was completed in November 2021. Only days before, the Biden administration had put NSO on a Commerce Department blacklist, which effectively banned U.S. firms from doing business with the company. For years, NSO’s spyware had been abused by governments around the world.

This particular tool, known as Landmark, allowed government officials to track people in Mexico without their knowledge or consent.

The F.B.I. now says that it used the tool unwittingly and that Riva Networks misled the bureau. Once the agency discovered in late April that Riva had used the spying tool on its behalf, Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, terminated the contract, according to U.S. officials. But many questions remain...

...Riva Networks and its chief executive, Robin Gamble, did not respond to several requests for comment on the F.B.I.’s accusations...