Israeli Spyware Maker is Trying to Dodge WhatsApp Lawsuit

 Back in 2019, WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook, which is now known as Meta, sued Israeli spyware maker NSO. The firm was sued for allegedly targeting more than 1400 WhatsApp users with highly sophisticated spyware.

WhatsApp says that more than 100 users tied to the lawsuit were journalists, rights activists, and civil society members.

Meta wants to block NSO from all Facebook platforms and also seeks unspecified damages.

NSO is now trying to appeal to the US Supreme Court to doge the WhatsApp lawsuit. The spyware firm claims that it should be recoginized as a foreign government agent and is therefore entitled to immunity under the US law limiting lawsuits against foreign countries.

NSO’s request also appeals a few earlier court rulings that rejected similar arguments by the Israeli company in the past.

If the court grants immunity to the Israeli company, it would greatly hinder WhatsApp’s case and the entire lawsuit could be dismissed. But WhatsApp argues that:

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.

It could be months before the US Supreme Court decides to review NSO’s case. But even if it does, the NSO would have to convince the court that it is a government agent and is entitled to immunity.

The chances are highly unlikely since the Supreme Court agrees to consider only 1% of the requests put before it.

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