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Pegasus: Does NSO qualify for ‘immunity’, US Supreme Court asks Biden administration

As Meta sues Israel-based NSO, developer of the Pegasus spyware, the US Spreme Court seeks the Biden administration’s opinion on its foreign immunity

The United States Supreme Court wants the Biden administration to weigh in on whether Israel's NSO Group has sovereign foreign immunity from civil litigation in the US to determine whether a lawsuit by WhatsApp against the spyware company can proceed, Reuters reported. The justices are considering NSO’s appeal of a lower court’s decision allowing the lawsuit to move forward. In April 2022, NSO argued that it is immune from being sued because it was acting as an agent for unidentified foreign governments when it installed the “Pegasus” spyware. WhatsApp - owned by Meta (formerly Facebook) - is suing the NSO Group over the alleged targeting of its servers in California with malware to gain unauthorized access to approximately 1,400 mobile devices in violation of US state and federal law.  Why it matters: Last year, a media investigation revealed that political leaders, journalists, activists, businessmen, government officials and several others from several countries were targeted for surveillance by their respective states using Pegasus. While the US itself hasn’t been implicated in the use of Pegasus, software manufactured by American companies (and used worldwide) were breached by the spyware. As such, the US Supreme Court’s ruling in this case would have international implications on how Pegasus is recognized.  A brief history of the WhatsApp-NSO suit: In its original complaint filed in 2019, WhatsApp had accused the Israeli firm of breaching its terms of service and undermining the messaging platform's "reputation, public trust and goodwill" with hacking activities. NSO has argued that Pegasus…

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