MUMBAI -- Israeli spyware startup NSO Group proclaims on its website that it "creates technology that helps government agencies prevent and investigate terrorism and crime to save thousands of lives around the globe."
Its stated ideal may be so. But its flagship Pegasus is spyware that intercepts communications or location information via mobile phones. Venture capital and private equity funds had invested in the company since its founding in 2010 as if it were a regular startup. But those investors have begun to realize that many of its business dealings border on illegality. This year, the founders' group repurchased a majority stake.