U.S. Government Officials Obtained NSO Group Spyware Despite Contrary Policies nytimes.com

Speaking of NSO Group and spyware, Mark Mazzetti and Ronen Bergman, New York Times:

On Nov. 3, 2021, the Biden administration publicly announced its decision to put NSO on the Commerce Department blacklist, in effect trying to put it out of business and putting the United States on record as seeking to rein in the proliferation of commercial spyware.

Days later came a well-disguised step in the other direction: Gideon, the U.S. affiliate of NSO, entered into the contract with “Cleopatra Holdings” — Riva Networks — specifying that the U.S. government would get access to NSO’s premier geolocation tool, what the company calls Landmark.

Landmark turns phones into a kind of homing beacon that allows government operatives to track their targets. In 2017, a senior adviser to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, the same person accused of orchestrating the killing of Mr. Khashoggi, used Landmark to track Saudi dissidents.

Can you believe intelligence agencies would so brazenly disregard laws like these? Dumbfounding, I tell you.