NSO Group appealed to the US Supreme Court in order to prevent a trial with WhatsApp

Source: https://cobaltstrike.net/2022/04/12/nso-group-appealed-to-the-us-supreme-court-in-order-to-prevent-a-trial-with-whatsapp/

The Israeli manufacturer of commercial spyware, NSO Group, appealed to the US Supreme Court in order to prevent a high-profile lawsuit initiated by the WhatsApp service, the Associated Press writes.

According to the application filed with the court, NSO should be considered a foreign government agent and, therefore, be entitled to immunity under US law restricting lawsuits against foreign states. The request is appealing a number of previous federal court rulings that rejected similar arguments by the NSO.

WhatsApp sued NSO in 2019 for infecting 1.4 thousand users of the service with high-tech spyware. The plaintiff demanded to protect all Facebook platforms (META company, now banned in the Russian Federation) from the spyware manufacturer and to compensate for the damage.

Granting the NSO sovereign immunity would greatly hinder the WhatsApp case. It can also provide an Israeli company with protection from a potentially risky process in which its customers and technological secrets may be disclosed. The NSO is seeking closure of the entire case.

In its petition, the company stated that lower courts have expressed mixed opinions about sovereign immunity for many years, and it was extremely important for the Supreme Court to rule on an issue of such great importance to national security around the world.

“Many countries, including the United States, rely on private contractors to carry out or support core government activities. Such contractors will never be able to achieve immunity […] then the United States and other countries may soon find that their military and intelligence operations have been disrupted by lawsuits against their agents,” the petition says.

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