Earlier this year, the New York Times revealed that the US government had purchased and used a subtheftς spyware που δημιουργήθηκε από την hacking ισραηλινή εταιρεία NSO Group. Το λογισμικό espionageς Pegasus, μπορεί να χακάρει διακριτικά κινητά τηλέφωνα και να κατεβάσει προσωπικές πληροφορίες χωρίς να το γνωρίζει ο χρήστης.
In March 2022, President Biden signed an executive order which prohibits the use of commercial spyware such as Pegasus by US government agencies. However, a new publication of the NYT revealed that the FBI continues to use NSO Group's Landmark tracking software to track suspects in Mexico.
The FBI claims it was misled by private contractor Riva Networks, which failed to disclose that it would market NSO software. Riva Networks provided location tracking services to the FBI to help track drug cartels in Mexico. Even after the executive order was issued in March, the FBI reportedly used Landmark again before terminating the contract with Riva Networks.
The FBI now says that it used the tool without meaning to (sic) and that Riva Networks misled the agency.
This isn't the first time the FBI has had ties to NSO Group's controversial spyware tools. Before the ban, the FBI considered using Pegasus in domestic criminal investigations within the US.
NSO Group and the spyware products it develops and markets have faced widespread criticism for facilitating government surveillance and suppressing political dissent worldwide.