President Biden just took a massive step on stopping the proliferation of commercial spyware. But recent reporting on a shady government contract with one of the most notorious snooping services raises the question: How can the United States clean up the world’s act on these singularly invasive tools if, so far, it hasn’t been able to clean up its own?
Last week, the White House issued an executive order prohibiting federal agencies from using hacking tools that could be harnessed by foreign governments to abuse human rights — forcing firms to stop selling to bad actors or risk losing this country’s valuable business. The rules also block vendors whose products pose national security or counterintelligence risks — as well as whose services have already been leveraged against the U.S. government. This scenario is far from hypothetical: The administration has said that an astounding 50 personnel in at least 10 countries have been targeted. The number presumably includes the 11 State Department employees in Uganda whose iPhones were accessed via a tool developed by the NSO Group, an Israeli cybersecurity company also connected to Saudi Arabia’s efforts to break into the devices of associates of Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi during the months before the journalist’s murder.
The move is immensely encouraging, and would be even more so if not for an investigation by the New York Times publishedonly days after the announcement that reveals a secret arrangement between a U.S. government front company and a domestic NSO Group affiliate. The deal gave an unnamed agency access to a geolocation tool that can covertly track cellphones: the same tool an adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman used as part of Saudi Arabia’s dissent-crushing campaign. More troubling still, the agreement was forged only days after the Commerce Department, with much fanfare, placed NSO on a blacklist preventing U.S. firms from selling their technology to it. That action was supposed to send the signal that the United States was ready to take a stand against a company that, time and time again, has facilitated illegal investigations, intimidation and imprisonment. But within a week, one of its federal agencies had inked a contract with representatives of that same firm.
A National Security Council spokesperson told us, “We have not yet been able to validate the existence of any such contract,” and said that use of the product wouldn’t be permitted by the new order. But no one has denied that the contract does exist. The matter of who in the executive branchdid know about the arrangement remains unclear. And the lack of knowledge by the NSC is in itself alarming. There are other uncertainties: Which agency purchased the tool, and for what purpose? Has it been deployed? The administrationneeds to be aware of all procurement and use of spyware. After all, any attempt to box out unscrupulous spyware companies globally falls apart the moment the United States shakes one of their hands.
Today, firms can offer their services for despots without facing any real consequences. NSO has sold to unambiguously authoritarian nations, but its sales to democracies have done the most damage to norms involving surveillance.See, for instance, Mexico’s spying on journalists investigating military crimes. Even when these governments go through appropriate legal channels, they contribute to the lawlessness of the larger commercial spyware market simply by buying. NSO and its peers have no incentive to stop selling to the world’s worst actors even if countries that claim to cherish civil liberties continue doing business with them.
That’s the trap the United States risks walking into if it can’t get a handle on its own use of spyware. There are legitimate uses for this technology: Infiltrating terrorist networks is an obvious example; so is espionage. But democracies have to do more than just follow those rules when they employ surveillance tools. They also have to deny licenses for export of any tools developed on their soil to any destination with a violating record — or without a framework to prevent violations — and they should refuse imports from the same set of places, and from firms willing to do business with them. Importantly, they need to do all this together if they hope to put a real dent in spyware firms’ balance sheets.
The White House kicked off a much-needed collaborative regime with this month’s executive order and with the principles that 11 participating states in this year’s Summit for Democracy agreed to on the heels of its release. (Israel, notably, wasn’t among them.) Ideally, their commitments will evolve to detail what standards countries must put in place and what uses are permissible, as well as to include more types of services than the “end-to-end software suites” offered by groups such as NSO. Plenty of mercenaries in the global market are hawking less comprehensive surveillance capabilities, or merely disclosing vulnerabilities for a fee so that the purchaser may go off and exploit them. But most important, to make this sort of system work, those who sign on must be strict — with vendors, but also with themselves.
1:38 PM 10/6/2020 - Major hurricane brews in Gulf of Mexico, threatens Louisiana, Florida Hopes of a ceasefire fading in Nagorno-Karabakh amid flare-up of violence A Harvard professor has claimed, without providing a single shred of evidence, that Russian intelligence agents were able to gain access to Walter Reed hospital where President Trump recovered from coronavirus over the weekend. New Mexico Democrat Starred in Pornos Saved Stories and Video News Review Saved Stories | Page | Links | News Playlist on YouTube Saved Stories | Page | Links __________________________________________________ Saved Stories - None Нагорный Карабах: новое наступление Snorkeling in Puerto Rico Trumps covid-19 diagnosis gives him one last chance to reset his campaign Суд оправдал нового премьера Киргизии, сидевшего за захват заложника Россия Армения: экономическая игра в одни ворота ОЗХО подтвердила отравление Навального "Новичком" Major hurricane brews in Gulf of Mexico, thr
What is on the line for Biden if Russia invades Ukraine posted at 13:20:03 UTC by CNN via CNN CNN global affairs analyst Susan Glasser and senior political analyst John Avlon discuss what is at stake for President Joe Biden if Russia decides to invade Ukraine. #CNN #News Ukraine threatens to break off diplomatic contact with Russia Post Link Russia News | Russia Video News | Russia, Ukraine, Nato | Russian New York | All Articles | Current News | Selected Articles | All Current Articles Headlines | Video News | Audio News | Blogs | Sites Michael Novakhov's favorite articles on Inoreader U.S. claims Russia has list of Ukrainians 'to be killed or sent to camps' following a military occupation - The Washington Post Ukraine threatens to break off diplomatic contact with Russia Sanctions: UK sanctions five Russian banks and predicts 'pariah status' for Putin if he takes further action against Ukraine Why Has the U.S. Sanctioned Russia in th
1:43 PM 2/3/2021 Эхо Москвы - Особое мнение : Глеб Павловский podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cDovL… posted at 18:22:04 UTC by Michael Novakhov via Tweets by @mikenov Эхо Москвы - Особое мнение : Глеб Павловский podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cDovL… Michael Novakhov's favorite articles on Inoreader Michael Novakhov retweeted: Scientists explain why the new Covid-19 variants could be more infectious. This article is free to read. posted at 17:22:28 UTC by The Wall Street Journal via Tweets by @mikenov Michael Novakhov retweeted: Scientists explain why the new Covid-19 variants could be more infectious. This article is free to read. Michael Novakhov retweeted: "Pro-Russian lawmakers protest ban of TV channels while West welcomes it" This was a strong step by @ZelenskyyUa against Russian disinformation warfare. Ukraine is in war with Russia & needs to defend itself against its enemy, while traitors oppose. kyivpost.com/ukraine-politi… posted at 17:22:28 UTC by
#TNT #News #Times #US #ODNI #CIA #DOJ #FBI #Psychology of #Politics , #Intelligence , & #SecurityServices FBI News Review https://t.co/GygPMTXODG | https://t.co/ajNK041Gy2 https://t.co/Ua2bBpRAnt https://t.co/l1zr8xU503 https://t.co/lTq00FfFv8 | https://t.co/UsVuFKTAVR pic.twitter.com/TmyNxFzknT — Michael Novakhov (@mikenov) September 26, 2021 - Post Link Tweets by @mikenov Michael Novakhov Retweeted On this day in History @onthisdayinhis9 # OnThisDay in History |September 21| 1985: 36 years ago: American CIA case officer Edward Lee Howard flees to Russia after being identified as a KGB agent. # OnThisDay # History # CIA # KGB # USA # Russia # EdwardLeeHoward Sep 21, 2021 Michael Novakhov Retweeted SPIES&VESPERS @SpiesVespers # OTD Sept 18,1909 legendary # CIA officer # Richard_Bissell_Jr born.Headed projects like # U2 spy plane & # Bay_of_Pigs . Sep 18, 2021 Michael Novakhov Retweeted TAYPE International @taypeinternat https://
Tweets by @mikenov Post Link Michael Novakhov @mikenov intelligence operations - Google Search https:// shar.es/aW6YR7 10 m Michael Novakhov @mikenov TNT # TNT # News # Times US # US ODNI # ODNI CIA # CIA DOJ # DOJ FBI # FBI # Psychology of # Politics , # Intelligence , & # SecurityServices intelligence operations - GS https:// shar.es/aW6YR7 - https:// shar.es/aW6YQe Intelligence Operations Understanding Data, Tools, People, and Proces 10 m Michael Novakhov @mikenov FBI # FBI Psychiatry # Psychiatry https:// twitter.com/mikenov/status /1442095222218006529 … https://twitter.com/mikenov/status/1442095222218006529 28 m Michael Novakhov @mikenov TNT # TNT # News # Times US # US ODNI # ODNI CIA # CIA DOJ # DOJ FBI # FBI # Psychology of # Politics , # Intelligence , & # SecurityServices https:// shar.es/aW6Yze the construction and normalization of this limited set of values actually promoted conformity and thwarted individua
@SecondGentleman Are you behind the attempts to unseat Chris Wray of the FBI? Do you plot to rule America behind the scenes? What are your relations with the Intelligence Services, including the Mossad, KGB, BND, and the New Abwehr? #FBI #NEWS #KamalaHarris THE FBI NEWS REVIEW pic.twitter.com/iXjNBQckgW — Michael Novakhov (@mikenov) September 22, 2021 7:29 AM 9/22/2021 - Post Link - Tweets by @mikenov Michael Novakhov Retweeted Milo™ @chasbottom How soon did the # FBI , # DOJ , # NYTimes , # WaPo know that the Alpha-Bank story was a @ HillaryClinton created hoax? https://twitter.com/thehill/status/1440568059211644936 4 h Michael Novakhov Retweeted That's Enough (Anti-war Coalition) @Thatsenough0 # News : # FBI Director Wray warned that # Taliban takeover in # Afghanistan could inspire a new wave of extremism in the U.S. Wray testified before Committee that extremist groups have never stop plotting attacks on U.S. soil. https:// thatsenough.info/?p=7822 Wray
Among Those Who Marched Into the Capitol on Jan. 6: An F.B.I. Informant - The New York Times Post Link Michael Novakhov's favorite articles on Inoreader Видео | Эхо Москвы: Военная тайна. Зачем встретились начальники штабов России и США? [Видео] posted at 11:26:52 UTC by email@example.com (Эхо Москвы) via 1. Russian Opposition from Michael_Novakhov (75 sites) Видео | Эхо Москвы How Elizabeth Holmes sidelined the real scientists at Theranos - The Verge posted at 11:27:09 UTC via Top Stories - Google News How Elizabeth Holmes sidelined the real scientists at Theranos The Verge Former Theranos Lab Director Testifies in Elizabeth Holmes Fraud Trial NBC Bay Area Ex-Theranos Lab Director Recalls Elizabeth Holmes 'Trembling' When Confronted Over Junk Lab Tests The Daily Beast Making Elizabeth Holmes' cringey texts public is the ultimate crime deterrent The Verge Former employees and patients testify in Elizabeth Holmes trial CNBC Television View Full Cov
Michael Novakhov's favorite articles on Inoreader Post Link Michael Novakhov @mikenov posted at 09:46:05 UTC by Michael Novakhov via Tweets by @mikenov US-American psychoanalytic community began to collaborate with the US-Intelligence Community (IC) ... psychohistorical studies on Adolf Hitler... history & consequences of this rather unexpected liaison. Psychoanalytic & the U.S. Intel Community 1940–1945 shar.es/aW6C2X Michael Novakhov @mikenov posted at 09:46:05 UTC by Michael Novakhov via Tweets by @mikenov #FBI FBI US psychoanalytic community began to collaborate with the US-Intelligence Community (IC) ... psychohistorical studies on Adolf Hitler... history & consequences of this rather unexpected liaison. Psychoanalytic & the U.S. Intel Community 1940–1945 shar.es/aW6C2X Michael Novakhov @mikenov posted at 10:14:41 UTC by Michael Novakhov via Tweets by @mikenov Another FBI director finds himself in a political vise politi.co/3krzUE
9:12 AM 9/21/2021 - Post Link - Tweets by @mikenov Michael Novakhov @mikenov CI Clearly, this is the vicious, targeted political attack on # ChrisWray , & it is orchestrated by Kamala Harris # VPHarris to control FBI # FBI . She is agent of " # ProgressiveLeft ", & also of # NewAbwehr - # KGB , I think. chris wray - GS https:// shar.es/aWGjOk https://www. thenation.com/article/politi cs/wray-fbi-nassar/ … There’s No Good Reason FBI Director Chris Wray Still Has a Job Wray has a pattern of refusing to pursue powerful men like Brett Kavanaugh and Larry Nassar on behalf of women and people of color. thenation.com 4 m Michael Novakhov @mikenov KAMALA HARRIS # FBI # NEWS FBI CI # TNT - http:// thenewsandtimes.blogspot.com | http:// fbinewsreview.blogspot.com # IMPEACH # KAMALAHARRIS FOR THE # ATTEMPTED COUP D'ETAT!!! Investigate this # NewAbwehr - # KGB # Trojan in depth! https:// shar.es/aWG4nN GS - https:// shar.es/aWGjie https://w