Middle East/North Africa

Israeli reports ‘no indication’ of abuse in police spyware case

An Israeli investigation reportedly found “no indication” that authorities illegally hacked mobile devices of public figures using the spyware Pegasus, according to The Associated Press

Israeli’s Justice Ministry announced on Monday that its initial investigation found that police had the authority to spy on the mobile devices of three of the people reported by a leading Israeli newspaper, but that only one was successfully infiltrated. 

Israeli’s attorney general had ordering an initial investigation after unsourced reports by the Calcalist business daily, which said authorities had spied on dozens of politicians, protesters and members of former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s inner circle. 

The newspaper had said authorities used Pegasus, a spyware program developed by the Israeli company NSO Group, without obtaining a court warrant. 

“There is no indication that police deployed Pegasus software without a court order against people on the list published in the media,” the Justice Ministry said in its statement, saying that NSO and government security officials helped in the investigation as well. 

Current and former police officers involved in the investigation have denied any wrongdoing

In a tweet, Calcalist journalist Tomer Ganon stood by his findings, saying that he will continue to protect his sources. 

“I swore to my sources: I will protect you until * all * the truth is revealed. I promised: I’ll do my best not to end up like Liora Glatt Berkowitz, Anat Kam, or Edward Snowden. I pledged: Protect everything dear to you – freedom, family, career – because you chose not to remain silent and reveal the truth,” Ganon tweeted. “I risked my good name not because of innocence. Just because I checked the facts.”

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Espionage Israel NSO Group Pegasus Spyware

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