The Israeli government’s Defense Exports Control Agency sent out a notice late on Monday indicating it would be enforcing stricter rules governing the export of offensive cyber tools. The announcement came days after multiple outlets revealed that tools from Israeli cyber firm NSO Group were used to hack into the phones of at least 11 US State Department officials based in Uganda.
The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday that the agency published a revised version of its “Final Customer Declaration” which countries will have to sign before they can get access to powerful spyware technology like the NSO Group’s Pegasus.
The declaration says countries will not use the tools to attack government critics or “political speech” and will only use it to prevent terrorism and “serious crimes.” Any country that ignores the declaration will lose access to the cyber tools, according to the document.
The new rules came just days after Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post reported that 11 workers at the US Embassy in Uganda had their phones hacked using Pegasus, which can be delivered to Apple phones through a text message that doesn’t even need to be opened.
Apple has sued NSO Group for creating the tool and