This week, Facebook filed suit against the NSO Group, a cyber-arms dealer that supplies some of the world's most oppressive regimes with spying tools used to attack dissidents, journalists, human rights activists, and democratic opposition figures; Facebook alleges that NSO Group was behind more than 1,400 attacks on Whatsapp users.
After filing the suit, Facebook has reportedly terminated the accounts of NSO Group employees on Instagram and possibly its other services, including Facebook itself and Whatsapp. The termination notices accuse the NSO employees of violating Facebook's terms of service, which prohibit tampering with or exploiting its services.
Though the notices sent to NSO Group employees told them the account terminations were permanent, a Facebook representative subsequently told Ars Technica that NSO employees could appeal the notices.
A message board popular in Israel indicated that the deletion was widespread. "I had just personally verified it (I have friends working there)," one person wrote. "Ninety-eight percent of the company employees were blocked."
Another person who claimed to work at NSO responded to say he or she hadn't been blocked. Another person claiming to be an NSO employee complained bitterly on LinkedIn. An Israel-based security researcher who spoke to an NSO employee said the deletions affected a much smaller percentage of the company's employees and didn't involve WhatsApp accounts.
Facebook deletes the accounts of NSO Group workers [Dan Goodin/Ars Technica]
If you enjoyed Rysa Walker’s Chronos Files, you’ll love Now, Then and Everywhen. Walker digs into deep into the backstory of her fantastic time travel series, expands greatly on the world-building and time-physics, and adds a few great characters. She also colors in the backstory that fueled the original series. I really enjoyed Walker’s YA […]
Jerry Saltz takes a sobering, thought-provoking look at where the art world may find itself in the wake of COVID-19. Anyone involved or adjacent to this world knows how much it has been struggling in the last few decades. Will the current global pandemic spell an end to the many small, scrappy art institutions and […]
Donald Trump frequently lavishes praise One America News (OAN), a news network that makes Fox News look like the Socialist Worker. In this episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver looks into OAN and “why they could be a big problem during the pandemic.” Image: YouTube
Gather round, young and old — and hear tales of bygone days. Back in olden times, citizens would mass at a house of coffee, wherein skilled java alchemists would concoct special blends and apply artisanal wizardry to make each steaming chalice an appointment for the taste buds. Granted, said wizards, once known as baristas, were […]
Whether it was Bach or Chopin, Ray Charles or Jerry Lee Lewis, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Alicia Keys or Norah Jones, there was someone whose mastery on the piano made you think, wow, I wish I knew how to do that. It’s a singular, almost timeless skill — and if you love music, there’s no […]
With everything happening now, even the most jaded among us are bound to feel some pangs of anxiety now and again. It’s a crazy time. When we crawl into bed each night, it’s common for our brains to go into overdrive and start thinking — and worrying — about what’s going on and what’s to […]