Digital Kudzu: Constant Gardeners Arrive at the NSO Group Orangerie

July 29, 2021

Is this a line from a motion picture? “Hello, we’re from the government and we’re here to help you.” I can’t remember. But constant gardeners do make visits to places where stuff grows, even in 2021 in the midst of a spike in respiratory diseases and quite toasty 31 C weather with some inclement weather expected.

I read “Israel Begins Investigation into NSO Group Spyware Abuse.” I am never sure about the accuracy of information when the source is one of Jeffrey Epstein’s sources of academic inspiration. (Wasn’t there some fancy wordsmithing about MIT’s interactions with this high water mark of human interaction?) As M. Macron might say, “Petits pois.” So shall we assume that the “Israel Begins…” article is in the capable hands of an honest vendeur de fruits, shall we?

The write up asserts:

The Ministry of Defense did not specify which government agencies were involved in the investigation, but Israeli media previously reported that the foreign ministry, justice ministry, Mossad, and military intelligence were also looking into the company following the report. NSO Group CEO Shalev Hulio confirmed to MIT Technology Review that the visit had taken place but continued the company’s denials that the list published by reporters was linked to Pegasus.

Ah, a coincidence. There are so many in the modern world. Example, you want? Less driving during Covid, more traffic deaths? See coincidence.

The write up notes:

NSO is not the only Israeli hacking company in the news lately. Microsoft and the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab also recently reported on hacking tools developed by Candiru that were subsequently used to target civil society groups.

Yep, Candiru. But are there other specialized software firms which the Israeli government might call, text, email, or Facetime? I don’t know from nothing because the Epstein-fave MIT “real” journalists did not mention any other firms. Am I to conclude that NSO Group and the Candiru outfit are rare birds, almost one of a kind?

Is it possible that NSO Group’s comments, the government’s alleged visit, and the grousing from the land of a couple of hundred different types of cheese are like the complaints of irritated customers of the orangerie’s delicate comestibles? If you got money, you can buy what the French call fruits mystérieux, right?

Observations:

  1. A visit in itself is surprising in the midst of a surge in Israel
  2. There indeed other firms providing specialized services, but these have been fortunate enough or wise enough to remain in the shed at rear of the orangeries in Herzliya
  3. The MIT Review is saddled with that Epstein thing; thus, it is difficult to do much more than ask, “Is this the rest of the story?”

Worth watching. Because fruits mystérieux. The care of constant gardeners may be needed. Could it be too late? Could the blight migrate to haricots verts, tomates allongées, and petit avocats.

Avocats? Fruits or conseillers juridique?

Stephen E Arnold, July 29, 2021

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