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Israel: opening of an investigation against the police suspected of spying on Israelis with Pegasus


Israeli justice announced Thursday evening the opening of an investigation into the use of the Pegasus spyware by the police following...

Israeli justice announced Thursday evening the opening of an investigation into the use of the spyware Pegasus by the police following assertions to this effect in the local press In a letter sent to the police commander Koby Shabtaï, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit asks to receive all wiretapping and computer espionage orders carried out in 2020 and 2021 in order to

“verify the allegations disseminated in the media”.

Read alsoPegasus affair: France asks Israel for “guarantees”

Israeli police used Pegasus software to spy on an Israeli they believe to be a potential threat, to gather material that could be used as leverage in future investigations, the Israeli business daily Calcalist reported Thursday. According to information from the daily, which does not cite its sources, the specialized police unit used Pegasus to monitor an activist whom it feared was committing

"public order offences"

, claiming that he represented a

"danger to democracy".

Israeli police commander Yaakov Shabtaï reacted to this publication by affirming that

“the police did not find the slightest element corroborating this information”.

"The Israeli police are fighting crime with all the legal means at their disposal,"

continued Koby Shabtaï, according to a press release from the Israeli police, which specifies that it had asked Avichai Mandelblit to

"verify that all wiretaps were made according to the law".

The Justice Department on Wednesday promised a full investigation into Calcalist allegations that Pegasus software was used to spy on Israeli citizens, including people who led the protests against former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Owner of Pegasus, the Israeli cybersecurity group NSO found itself exposed in 2021 after investigations published by a consortium of 17 international media claiming that its software had allowed it to spy on the phones of journalists, politicians including leaders. of State, activists and business leaders in different countries.

Read alsoPegasus: Emmanuel Macron seeks the response to cyber threats

NSO Group has neither denied nor confirmed the sale of Pegasus to the Israel Police, stressing that it was “in no way involved in the operation of the system once sold to government customers”.

"NSO sells its products under license and according to regulations, to intelligence agencies and police services, to prevent terrorist acts and crimes, under court orders and the laws in force in their countries"

, the group said in a statement sent to AFP.

Pegasus software can only be sold to states, and such sales must get the green light from a special Israeli Defense Ministry commission responsible for approving arms sales.

Once installed in a mobile phone, Pegasus provides access to the user's messaging and data, but also to activate the device remotely for sound or image recording purposes.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2022-01-20

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