The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit cleared the way for Meta's WhatsApp to proceed with a lawsuit against Israeli spyware firm NSO Group, The Guardian reported Monday.
According to the court opinion, Facebook and WhatsApp initially sued NSO Group in 2019. NSO Group then tried to appeal the suit by invoking the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, which the court ultimately denied on the grounds that NSO Group is a private company and not a foreign government.
The decision by the appeals court will allow Meta (formerly known as Facebook) to continue with its lawsuit against NSO Group for infecting 1,400 mobile devices with malware via WhatsApp. NSO Group developed Pegasus, which targeted the phones belonging to thousands of journalists, human rights activists and business executives worldwide.
This comes after the U.S. Department of Commerce blacklisted NSO Group on Wednesday for supplying spyware.