IDF chief sensor Brig. Gen. Ariella Ben Avraham is negotiating to join cyber intelligence and surveillance company NSO Group. The job involved will apparently focus on regulation and media. Ben Avraham is scheduled to be discharged from the IDF in June, but has asked to bring her release forward.
NSO, founded in 2010 by CEO Shalev Hulio and Omri Lavie, has developed a range of cyber intelligence products. The company's lead product Pegasus is described as a surveillance tool, and the company says that it is devised to help governments and espionage organizations prevent terrorist acts. At the same time, the company has courted controversy because it also sells licenses to use its product to non-Western countries. The software has allegedly been used to spy on journalists and opponents of unsavory regimes. The company says that it does not bear responsibility for the way its product is used.
The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court is hearing a lawsuit against NSO seeking to find the company liable for spying on opponents of the regime in Saudi Arabia. The court dismissed NSO's petition to dismiss the claim against, and charged the company NIS 24,000 in expenses. The court also dismissed NSO's request to bar publication of the legal proceedings against it. The court will therefore hear the question of the company's responsibility for the use of its products.
The IDF spokesperson said, "Brig. Gen. Ariella Ben Avraham stands to be released from the IDF after 32 years of service and more than four years as chief censor, and is scheduled to be released from her position in 2020."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 5, 2020
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