Pegasus has been implicated in possible mass surveillance of journalists, human rights defenders and 14 heads of state.(AFP)
Pegasus has been implicated in possible mass surveillance of journalists, human rights defenders and 14 heads of state.(AFP)

Pegasus fallout: Israeli panel set to review NSO

  • Their phone numbers were among some 50,000 potential surveillance targets on a list leaked to rights group Amnesty International and Paris-based Forbidden Stories.
Agencies | , Jerusalem/paris
PUBLISHED ON JUL 23, 2021 12:12 AM IST

Israel has set up a commission to review allegations that NSO Group’s controversial Pegasus phone surveillance software was misused, the head of the parliament’s foreign affairs and defence committee said on Thursday.

“The defence establishment appointed a review commission made up of a number of groups,” lawmaker Ram Ben Barak told Army Radio. “When they finish their review, we’ll demand to see the results and assess whether we need to make corrections,” the former deputy head of Mossad spy agency added.

Pegasus has been implicated in possible mass surveillance of journalists, human rights defenders and 14 heads of state.

Their phone numbers were among some 50,000 potential surveillance targets on a list leaked to rights group Amnesty International and Paris-based Forbidden Stories.

NSO has said the leak is “not a list of targets or potential targets of Pegasus”. NSO chief executive Shalev Hulio told Army Radio on Thursday that he would “be very pleased if there were an investigation, so that we’d be able to clear our name”. He also alleged there was an effort “to smear all the Israeli cyber industry”.

NSO has said it exports to 45 countries, with approval from the Israeli government. Hulio said the company could not disclose the details of its contracts due to “issues of confidentiality”, but said he would offer full transparency to any government seeking more details.

Macron holds emergency meeting on cybersecurity

French President Emmanuel Macron held an emergency cybersecurity meeting on Thursday to weigh possible government action after reports that his cellphone and those of government ministers may have been targeted by spyware.

Morocco files libel suit against Amnesty, NGO

Morocco has filed defamation claims against Amnesty International and a French NGO who claim its intelligence services used the Pegasus mobile phone spyware against dozens of French journalists, lawyers for the government said. Paris prosecutors opened their own inquiry this week into the claims by Amnesty and the non-profit Forbidden Stories.

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