Bloomberg

The crime-fighting app that caused a phone-hacking scandal in Italy

Even the country's foreign intelligence agency, L'Agenzia Informazioni e Sicurezza Esterna, came calling for Exodus's services, Fasano said. Foto: Jens Büttner/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

After successfully creating a health care app for doctors to view medical records, Diego Fasano, an Italian entrepreneur, got some well-timed advice from a police officer friend: Go into the surveillance business because law enforcement desperately needs technological help.

In 2014, he founded a company that creates surveillance technology, including powerful spyware for police and intelligence agencies, at a time when easy-to-use encrypted chat apps such as WhatsApp and Signal were making it possible for criminal suspects to protect phone calls and data from government scrutiny...

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