Israel sold spyware equipment to Bangladesh despite export ban: Report
The sale was made despite Bangladesh not recognizing Israel's legitimacy as a state or holding diplomatic relations
By News Desk - January 10 2023

(Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

According to a report published on 10 January by Israeli news outlet Haaretz, former Israeli intelligence commander and businessman Tal Dilian sold advanced spyware to Bangladesh in 2022, despite the export ban on defense and surveillance equipment to Dhaka.

Dilian sold the military equipment to the Bangladeshi Interior Ministry, despite Bangladesh not recognizing Israel’s legitimacy or having diplomatic relations.

The equipment sold to the National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre (NTMC) can intercept texts, internet traffic, and calls.  

Dilian’s former company WiSpear had previously been involved in a previous scandal in Cyprus after a Forbes documentary disclosed how the company used its equipment to extract private information from people’s phones and social media accounts.

In recent months, Israel has sold its spyware to several regional countries, such as the UAE. Last month, an investigation by the Foreign Affairs magazine revealed that Abu Dhabi has been using Israeli-made technology to spy on personal devices.

The selling of spyware to foreign governments has given Israel, which provides export licenses for NSO Group’s Pegasus, considerable diplomatic power in nations like India and Panama.

The sales of spyware equipment have vastly increased since the signing of normalization agreements between Israel and several Arab states, such as Bahrain, the UAE, and Morocco.

Washington previously blacklisted Israel’s NSO group; however, according to the New York Times, the US has been using spyware from various Israeli corporations to hack mobile phones.

On 12 November 2022, the New York Times also revealed a scheme by the FBI to use Israeli-made spyware to hack into the phones of those they deem a ‘threat’ to US national security.

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