computer company red-flagged by US – Middle East Monitor


The United States warned Israeli technology company CNG Labs on Friday after it was added to Washington’s “red flag” list. The list includes companies, organizations and individuals in foreign countries whose equipment cannot be fully verified as equipment intended for use by legitimate customers for legitimate purposes.

The individuals listed are often believed to be involved in activities that threaten US national security, such as arms proliferation, support for terrorism or human rights abuses. Fourteen Chinese companies were added to the red flag list before GNC Labs was included.

“Enforcing our export controls is a critical part of America’s national security,” US Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves tells Reuters after the announcement the Chinese firms were added to the red flag list. “We are committed to using all the tools at our disposal to find out how well US technology is being used around the world.”

Details about CNG Labs reported in Haaretz shows that it is a computer store in Kiryat Shmona that provides “service for all types of laptops.” The company has previously been in trouble for allegedly selling dual-use technology that could be used for civilian purposes, such as graphics cards in laptops or military applications in drones, for example, or for use in advanced computer systems in the defense industries.

Dual-use technology is overseen under the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies. Israel is not a party to the agreement, but says it abides by its terms.

Read: 50,000 phones on target list in global hacking scandal involving Israel’s NSO Group

The inclusion of CNG Labs on the red flag list makes it the third Israeli firm to face a public reprimand from the US; Washington also blacklisted spy firms, the NSO Group and Candiru. The spyware firm was hit with tougher sanctions than those imposed on GNC Labs. Having a flag is a warning, a “red flag” rather than a place on the blacklist, resulting in a total ban.

Israel’s NSO Group was accused of providing technology to foreign governments to target government officials, journalists, businessmen, activists, academics and embassy workers for malicious purposes. Candiru also offers hacking tools used to break into computers and servers as well as technology to break into mobile devices.

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