Defense Ministry Tightens Control of Cyber Exports

The logo of Israeli cyber firm NSO Group is seen at one of its branches in the Arava Desert, southern Israel. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo/File Photo)

In the wake of an international outcry and sanctions against the Israeli spyware maker NSO Group, the Defense Ministry announced on Monday a more stringent policy for cyber exports, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The Defense Exports Control Agency (DECA) published an updated version of its “Final Customer Declaration,” which countries wishing to receive technologies, such as NSO tracking software, will be required to sign.

In the new declaration, countries will have to pledge to limit use of the technology to prevent terror and serious crime, and agree that whoever does not abide by this will be disconnected from the system.

The definitions for serious crimes and terrorist acts have been sharpened in order to prevent the blurring of boundaries in this context,” the Defense Ministry said.

It also spells out uses that are prohibited – like targeting people for political affiliation or applications that break that country’s privacy laws – for which Israel could revoke licenses and the systems be shut down.

NSO has been accused of selling its products to countries which then used them for spying on other governments, journalists and activists.

The U.S. has blacklisted NSO’s Pegasus software, and the E.U. is under pressure to follow suit.


The company denies the allegations.