Facebook must unblock the account of an employee of the Israeli espionage company NSO, a judge in Tel Aviv decided Tuesday. NSO staff sued Facebook in November after the company had blocked the private accounts of a group of employees.
The American company sued NSO in October, after it appeared that the Israeli company had sent espionage software to smartphones via WhatsApp. Facebook also blocked the Facebook and Instagram profiles of NSO employees who were active on his social media.
The NSO staff group went to Tel Aviv in November. Tuesday's decision is about one account, but the court is expected to make the same judgment in the coming days about the accounts of the other staff members.
According to Facebook, blocking the "relevant accounts" was necessary after the company found that NSO was behind an "advanced cyber attack." The espionage software was reported to have been sent to 1,400 WhatsApp users in a few weeks.
NSO formally only sells its spyware to governments in the fight against terrorism and serious crime, but the rogue software has been used by various countries against lawyers, journalists, activists, diplomats and political opponents.