Sen. Wyden says Oregon should divest from spyware company


Photo: A logo adorns a wall on a branch of the Israeli NSO Group company, near the southern Israeli town of Sapir. AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden said Wednesday that the Oregon state employees pension fund should drop its investment in NSO Group, whose smartphone-hacking tool has targeted human rights monitors, journalists, politicians and others.

The Oregon Democrat’s comments to The Associated Press came as he and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-California, called on the Biden Administration to sanction NSO Group and three other “mercenary hacking corporations” under the Global Magnitsky Act, for enabling human rights violations by authoritarian regimes.

The state of Oregon became a stakeholder in a company that has been reviled by human rights groups, journalists and the U.S. government — which last month placed NSO Group on its trade blacklist — when in 2017 it invested $233 million in a private equity firm. That firm then acquired a majority share of NSO Group.

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