Chartwell Strategy Group is providing strategic communications services to NSO Group, the Israel-based cybersecurity firm that developed the notorious Pegasus spyware.
Pegasus, which can be installed remotely on phones without the owner knowing it, is licensed to intelligence and law enforcement services.
The United States on Nov. 3, 2021, blacklisted NSO Group from receiving American technology after it determined that its software was used by foreign governments to “maliciously target” activists, journalists and political opponents.
Hanan Elatr, widow of Jamal Khashoggi, filed a lawsuit in US District Court on June 15, claiming that Saudi Arabia put Pegasus on her cellphone to spy on her husband.
NSO has denied that its software was used to bug Elatr’s phone or that it had any involvement in the murder of Khashoggi.
Chartwell reps NSO as a subcontractor to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman law firm.
It signed the NSO contract on Dec. 20, 2021 but the pact did not go into effect until Jan. 11, 2022 when Chartwell got a $100,000 payment from the company.
The firm received $200K from NSO during the six-month period ended Feb. 28, 2023 for media outreach to outlets including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Foreign Affairs, Reuters, Politico, Boston Globe, Associated Press, and The Mail.
David Tamasi, Chartwell’s founding partner and managing director, handles NSO.