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Indian government has no plans to ban NSO Group, IT Ministry informs Rajya Sabha

The government has long been suspected of being a buyer of Pegasus spyware that’s sold exclusively to NSO clients.

“There is no proposal for banning any group named ‘NSO group’,” read the response by Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar. He was responding to a question by Rajya Sabha MPs Vishambar Prasad Nishad and Sukhram Singh Yadav in the winter session of the Parliament. Chandrasekhar added that the government did not have any information when asked about whether the United States had blacklisted NSO Group and Candiru, for providing Pegasus spyware. NSO Group is the Israeli cyber-espionage firm behind the controversial Pegasus spyware. Read: Pegasus Spyware: All The Latest Facts On Who Was Targeted, The Modus Operandi, And More The response is a signal that the Indian government may not necessarily take action against NSO Group in the future. It also raises questions about the government’s intentions in holding the company accountable unless compelled by the Supreme Court of India. Yes, the US blacklisted NSO Group “NSO Group and Candiru (Israel) were added to the Entity List based on evidence that these entities developed and supplied spyware to foreign governments that used these tools to maliciously target government officials, journalists, businesspeople, activists, academics, and embassy workers,” according to a press release by the US Department of Commerce. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added four foreign companies in total to the Entity List for ”engaging in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States”. The sanctions went into effect on November 4. The ruling ensures…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

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