Its products can help hack the phone of a political activist, a journalist or even a prince.

The spying technology owned by the Israeli NSO Group is allegedly being used by authoritarian regimes and within that its changing traditional relationships - good and bad.

But it is also increasingly helping governments to crackdown on whoever opposes them. NSO has faced a number of lawsuits, one of them by WhatsApp.

The messaging app seems to be getting close to winning that case, if only as a default ruling.

The spyware manufacturer failed to show up in court in the United States after it said it would "vigorously fight" the allegations.

A default was entered on Monday in San Francisco after WhatsApp said its efforts to give NSO Group notice of the lawsuit all went unanswered.

So what does this case tell us about digital privacy protection?

Presenter: Peter Dobbie

Guests:

Raphael Satter - cybersecurity correspondent for Reuters news agency

Tanya O'Carroll - director of Amnesty Tech

James Shires - professor at the University of Leiden who researches cybersecurity in the Middle East

Source: Al Jazeera