Government approves committee of inquiry into alleged police abuse of spy tech

Committee will address issuance of covert surveillance orders and tracking citizens using technological means despite opposition from security officials and AG

Government approves committee of inquiry into alleged police abuse of spy tech
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The government on Sunday approved a governmental committee of inquiry into the Israel Police's alleged abuse of the powerful hacking tool Pegasus.
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Despite opposition from security officials and Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara. By its mandate, the committee will address the issuance of covert surveillance orders and tracking citizens using technological means.
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NSO logo
NSO logo
(Photo: AFP)
As reported earlier this month, the findings regarding the NSO-developed Pegasus software were published, revealing that the police exceeded their authority without considering the full implications of the surveillance capabilities. This report has matured into an investigation.
It should be noted that the Shin Bet and the National Security Council opposed this, fearing the leak of operational secrets.
Meanwhile, the police argued last week that establishing the committee might further complicate criminal investigations within the Arab community, which are already challenging.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left the room to avoid a conflict of interest on the matter after the attorney general wrote that "the committee raises concerns about distorting legal proceedings in these cases and undermining the independence of law enforcement agencies."
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ישיבת ממשלה
ישיבת ממשלה
Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Attorney General Gali Baharav Miara
(Photo: EPA/GIL COHEN-MAGEN/Pool, Nachum Segal)
As a result, the decision was amended so that the inquiry committee could consult with the attorney general regarding open cases.
Nevertheless, the attorney general's team faced harsh criticism, accused of a conflict of interest. Justice Minister Yariv Levin said to the attorney general's representative, "do you think we're all fools?"
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich added, "there are those here who might become defendants and the legal advisors want to protect them."
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