The scandal of the Israeli police's use of the Pegasus software took on new dimensions on Monday, February 7, with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett promising "
" after revelations that many public figures were spied on without authorization.
Read alsoAfter the Pegasus scandal, NSO's descent into hell
The Israeli cybersecurity group NSO has been under fire since investigations published in the summer of 2021 by a consortium of 17 international media claiming that its Pegasus software had made it possible to spy on the phones of journalists, politicians including heads of state, activists and business leaders in different countries. But in recent weeks, the Israeli press has reported eavesdropping not only abroad, but also in Israel.
According to information from the Israeli business daily Calcalist published on Monday, February 7, the Israeli police have made extensive use of the Pegasus software, without judicial authorization and sometimes in a totally discretionary manner.
The newspaper had already made revelations about the use of spyware by the police in January, pushing the justice system to open an investigation.
The information about Pegasus, if true, is very serious
We will not leave this unanswered
," warned Naftali Bennett in a statement.
The spy program had become a common tool
After initial revelations from the Calcalist daily in January, the police admitted last week that they had used “
” computer spy technologies, without naming the Pegasus software. According to new information published by Calcalist, the spy program had become a common tool for gathering intelligence. “
From ministers' cabinet directors, to journalists and businessmen: Pegasus infection has affected everyone, from disability and Ethiopian rights activists, to executives of big companies, to mayors and loved ones of the Prime Minister
, ”wrote the economic daily on Monday.
In the wake of the publication of this information, which caused shock waves on Monday February 7 in Israel, the Minister of Public Security Omer Bar-Lev called for the creation of a government commission of inquiry to shed light on this case. "
Testimony indicates that the breaches, if any, took place under previous police chiefs, public security ministers and governments
," he said in a statement. “
If this information is correct, it is an earthquake, facts that suit the dark regimes of the previous century which we must not resemble
,” denounced Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked.
Read alsoPegasus: an Israeli lawyer and a Hungarian NGO want to sue NSO
President Isaac Herzog meanwhile hinted that the credibility of the institutions was at stake. “
We must not lose our democracy.
We must not lose our police.
And we certainly must not lose the public's trust in them
,” he said on Monday.
NSO, developer of Pegasus, has neither denied nor confirmed the sale of the software to the police, stressing that it was "
in no way involved in the operation of the system once sold to government customers