Legal Correspondent: Rima Mondal
6th December 2021: On 6th December, stricter guidelines have been issued by Israel for the countries interested to buy their cyber technologies to only use their technology against a limited list of terrorist acts and serious crimes. The Israeli Defence Ministry has announced such guidelines for the alleged abuses of a hacking tool sold by Israeli firms like NSO Group very recently. Even this Israeli Firm has been sued by many people for its illegal surveillance of them.
The Israeli Defence Ministry has also announced that they have clearly defined serious crimes and terrorist acts following the fact that people might be confused as to which acts would exactly amount to serious crimes.
The purchasing countries have to sign an updated certificate in which it is mentioned that "terrorist acts" include attacks on people, public facilities, seizures of aircraft, the release of dangerous substances. There is a list in detail of "serious crimes" as well to which a person may be imprisoned for six years or more.
The guidelines also state that surveillance on political purposes or any kind of act which violates a country's privacy laws would also amount to a crime and for that act, Israel can ban licenses.
Though NSO Group has denied the allegations brought against it as NSO's Pegasus tool had been used to hack into phones of some eminent journalists, governmental officials, and some public figures as well, Israel has been under pressure for issuing such strict rules.
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