Israeli spyware developer NSO Group has appealed for immunity to the US Supreme Court in a major lawsuit filed by WhatsApp as it should be recognized as a foreign government agent, according to the Associated Press.
NSO Group has been indicted by Meta Platforms Inc., WhatsApp's parent firm, in 2019 for allegedly deploying spyware
against nearly 1,400 users of the encrypted messaging platform. In its appeal, the spyware firm noted the implications of refusing immunity for foreign entities. "Many nations, including the United States, rely on private contractors to conduct or support core governmental activities. If such contractors can never seek immunity... then the United States and other countries may soon find their military and intelligence operations disrupted by lawsuits against their agents," said NSO in its filing. WhatsApp stressed the need to curb NSO's spyware, which has already been used to stifle journalists, human rights activists, and other dissidents worldwide. "Two United States courts have already rejected NSO’s contrived bid for immunity and we believe there is no reason for the Supreme Court to hear their last-ditch attempt to avoid accountability," said WhatsApp.