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Israeli spyware maker NSO Group announces companywide changes, but critics don't expect that will reduce the use of its invasive surveillance technology. Ukraine and Poland increase collaboration on cyber defenses. And an interstate cybersecurity center expands. This is CyberScoop for Aug. 22.

Prying eyes will still be watching

Embattled Israeli spyware vendor NSO Group announced a major reorganization Sunday — replacing its longtime CEO and laying off roughly 100 of its 700 employees — but experts who track the growing trade in surveillance technology say that’s unlikely to curtail that deployment of the company’s technology designed to secretly monitor its targets. Experts with Amnesty International and Citizen Lab, two organizations that have led the crusade to expose the rampant abuse of NSO tech by autocratic regimes to attack dissidents, journalists and political opponents around the world, told CyberScoop that they're still worried about a lack of accountability for the company and the ongoing abuse involving its tools. AJ Vicens reports.

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Ukraine, Poland deepen cyber ties

Cybersecurity officials from Ukraine and Poland announced on Monday the two countries are deepening ties on cyber defense. The move will "strengthen the joint fight against cybercrime and make the exchange of experience and information about cyber incidents faster and more efficient," according to a release issued by the Ukrainian government. The countries share a border and "a joint problem in cyberspace, where we experience the same kind of attacks," the statement said. Along with information sharing, the agreement means the two countries will be working more closely on "preventing the spread of fakes and disinformation in the media environment." Read the announcement.

Cyber operations center expands to 10 states

The interstate cybersecurity operations center that North Dakota officials launched last year recently expanded again and now features participation from 10 states, with plans to add at least five more before the end of the year. Michael Gregg, North Dakota’s chief information security officer, told StateScoop on Thursday that the Joint Cybersecurity Operations Command Center has allowed IT and cyber officials from member states to share threat intelligence with each other directly, without an intermediary like a federal agency or the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. “There’s real benefit in getting the states to talk to each other,” he said. “If we’re being targeted, the odds are another state is being targeted too. We share the same types of applications and services.” Benjamin Freed has the story in StateScooop.

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