MOSCOW - US whistleblower Edward Snowden believes Israeli cyber intelligence firm NSO Group Technologies is “selling a digital burglary tool,” which he claimed had been used to track Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed in Istanbul in early October.

“[NSO’s software is not] just being used for catching criminals and stopping terrorist attacks … not just for saving lives, but for making money … such a level of recklessness … actually starts costing lives,” Snowden said via video conference at an event organized by OH! Orenstein Hoshen communications firm based in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. NSO Group Technologies refuted the accusations, stating that it considers that Snowden is selectively slandering Israeli technology companies and does not possess any reliable information on the matter. “NSO is developing products that are sent to government agencies for the sole purpose of investigating and preventing crimes and terrorism,” the company was quoted as saying by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation.

The application of NSO products is monitored by a special ethics commission, the company added.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia’s acknowledgment that the journalist had been killed in a fight inside the consulate came after two weeks of denials and growing pressure from Western allies to provide explanations. Turkey, which conducts a separate probe into the case, claims that Khashoggi was assassinated by a hit squad sent from Saudi Arabia.

In 2013, Snowden leaked classified documents pertaining to mass surveillance practices carried out by US authorities around the globe. Later in the year, Russia granted the former NSA contractor temporary asylum for one year. In 2014, Snowden received a three-year residence permit to live in Russia, which was later extended until 2020.