US sanctions against Predator spyware prompt worry among spyware makers

TechCrunch reports that newly imposed U.S. sanctions against Tal Jonathan Dillian, founder of the Intellexa Consortium that led the sales of the Predator spyware, and corporate off-shoring expert Sara Aleksandra Fayssal Hamou, have triggered worries from individuals who were previously part of the government spyware sector.

Despite concerns, one former spyware head expressed confidence that none of the illicit practices conducted by Dillian, including the sales of commercial spyware to "anyone willing to pay," are being done by his previous employer. Another ex-spyware sector worker said that the U.S. sanctions should prompt reconsideration among spyware market participants. "If I had to come back to work actively in this industry, and I couldn't find an exclusive customer that is extremely trustworthy, [sanctions] would be a risk. A company, however serious, can never be 100% sure about how its customers act, and the political developments that can embroil them," said the worker.

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