The New York Times describes Pegasus as a "zero-click hacking tool" that can remotely take all data from a target's cell phone and turn it into a tracking and recording device."
But they also say that the tool's developers, from the NSO Group, visited "several times" in recent months with executives from the US military firm L3Harris. US company L3Harris makes the Stingray mobile phone tracking tool and appears to be interested in buying NSO Group.
Their first problem?
The US government added it NSO Group blacklisted in November, because the Pegasus malware had been used to hack the phones of political leaders, human rights activists and journalists.
But five people familiar with the negotiations said the L3Harris team could find a loophole to buy NSO Group. US intelligence officials have quietly supported its plans to buy NSO, whose technology has been used for years by intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world, including the FBI and CIA.
Talks continued in secret until last month, when the news broke for a possible sale of NSO. The news brought turmoil…
White House officials said they were outraged to learn of the negotiations and that any attempt by US defense companies to buy a blacklisted company would be met with stiff resistance. Of course the secret services are looking for an opportunity to take control of NSO's powerful spyware under US authority.
NSO Group saw the deal with L3Harris as a lifeline after being blacklisted by the Commerce Department, which crippled its operations. US companies are not allowed to do business with blacklisted companies, and if anything is discovered there will be sanctions. But neither can NSO buy American technology for its operations (Dell servers or Amazon cloud storage) So the Israeli company hopes that a sale to a company from the United States could lead to the lifting of sanctions. …
L3 Harris representatives told the Israelis that US intelligence would support the takeover if certain conditions were met, according to the five people familiar with the discussions.
One of the conditions was that the NSO's "zero day" arsenal should be sold only to United States partners in the so-called Five Eyes (Five Eyes intelligence sharing relationship).
The term Five Eyes is a pseudonym for the United Kingdom-United States Agreement (UKUSA by the United Kingdom-United States of America Agreement).
Despite its official name, the UKUSA agreement is made up of five different countries: the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The agreement has its roots in an information exchange agreement between Britain and the United States since World War II.