The Israeli MoD’s Export Control Division (AFI) has tightened supervision of cyber exporters by updating the requirement for ‘End User Declaration’ which each importing country is required to sign as a condition for issuing a license to export.
The updated end use statement was formulated by the country’s ministries of defense and foreign affairs as part of the State of Israel’s supervision policy on the export of cyber products, an official statement by the Israeli MoD said December 6.
As per the updated end-user statement, “the acquiring state undertakes to restrict the use of the cyber system for the investigation and prevention of terrorist acts and serious crimes only.”
In addition, the updated statement clarifies the circumstances in which the operation of the cyber system is prohibited and explicitly clarifies the existence of the possibility of imposing sanctions in the event of a breach of the provisions, including limiting the cyber system and-or disconnecting it.
At the same time, definitions for serious crimes and terrorist acts have been sharpened, in order to avoid blurring boundaries in this context, the statement said.
The Israeli government’s action comes after the U.S. Commerce Department blacklisted Israeli firms NSO Group and Candiru on November 8, accusing the companies of providing spyware to foreign government that use these tools to spy on journalists and activists.
Software provided by Israeli firms was allegedly used by Saudi Arabia to spy on dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
The Israeli MOD statement further said: The move joins a series of actions taken in recent years, regarding the supervision of the export of cyber systems, in which the State of Israel allows exports only to government officials and for the purpose of investigating and preventing terrorism and serious crime, and supervises according to the Wassnar Order.
The updated statement states that terrorist acts are, among other things, acts that are intended to threaten a population and may result in death, injury, hostage-taking and more.