Michael Flynn Worked With Foreign Cyberweapons Group That Sold Spyware Used Against Political Dissidents
WASHINGTON ― While serving as a top campaign aide to Donald Trump, former national security adviser Michael Flynn made tens of thousands of dollars on the side advising a company that sold surveillance technology that repressive governments used to monitor activists and journalists.
Flynn, who resigned in February after mischaracterizing his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., has already come under scrutiny for taking money from foreign outfits. Federal investigators began probing Flynn’s lobbying efforts on behalf of a Dutch company led by a businessman with ties to the Turkish government earlier this year. Flynn’s moonlighting wasn’t typical: Most people at the top level of major presidential campaigns do not simultaneously lobby for any entity, especially not foreign governments. It’s also unusual for former U.S. intelligence officials to work with foreign cybersecurity outfits.
Nor was Flynn’s work with foreign entities while he was advising Trump limited to his Ankara deal. He earned nearly $1.5 million last year as a consultant, adviser, board member, or speaker for more than three dozen companies and individuals, according to financial disclosure forms released earlier this year.
Two of those entities are directly linked to NSO Group, a secretive Israeli cyberweapons dealer founded by Omri Lavie and Shalev Hulio, who are rumored to have served in Unit 8200, the Israeli equivalent of the National Security Agency.
Flynn received $40,280 last year as an advisory board member for OSY Technologies, an NSO Group offshoot based in Luxembourg, a favorite tax haven for major corporations. OSY Technologies is part of a corporate structure that runs from Israel, […]