A group of human rights groups on Wednesday signed on to Facebook’s landmark lawsuit against an Israeli spyware company, accused of manipulating a messaging app to hack into cellphones of activists and dissidents around the world. Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and other rights organizations filed an amicus brief, supporting the tech giant’s year-long battle playing out in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. They follow companies such as Microsoft, Google and Dell, who on Monday made a similar move, warning the court that the NSO spyware group, based in Israel and started by former Israeli intelligence officers, poses a threat to the safety of internet users. NSO has in recent years come under fire for selling hacking software to undemocratic regimes in Africa, South America and the Middle East. It is accused of subverting Facebook’s popular WhatsApp messaging platform to enable surveillance agencies to track and jail protest leaders and activists.
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