The NSO building and Israel's four latest police commissioners

Israeli inquiry checking NSO database over police wiretap allegations

Justice Ministry says deputy AG reviewing NSO's database following reports of illegal spyware use by police, adds internal investigation found that police took no action 'against anyone' without court order

Reuters |
Published: 02.13.22, 16:50
A high-level Israeli inquiry into alleged warrantless wiretaps by police is examining a database provided by NSO Group, the manufacturer of the powerful hacking tool Pegasus, the Justice Ministry said on Sunday.
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  • NSO, which has denied wrongdoing amid months of spiraling reports in Israel and abroad of privacy violations by government clients using Pegasus, has said its "audit log" database provides accurate information on phones infected by the spyware.
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    NSO , מני יצחקי, אלשיך, גדי סיסו, שבתאי
    NSO , מני יצחקי, אלשיך, גדי סיסו, שבתאי
    The NSO building and Israel's four latest police commissioners
    (Photo: Elad Gershgoren, Eli Senior, Reuters. Amit Shaabi, Ido Erez)
    Israel's Calcalist newspaper, in an unsourced report last week, said police had used Pegasus without judges' warrants against public figures including a son and two confidants of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - who is currently on trial in three corruption cases.
    The Justice Ministry statement said an internal police investigation had found "that no action was taken against anyone in the absence of a court warrant against them". Some 1,500 phone numbers were checked, the statement added.
    An inquiry being conducted by a deputy attorney-general "is also checking information in the NSO company's internal database, which was made available," it said.
    An NSO spokeswoman declined comment.
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    בנימין נתניהו
    בנימין נתניהו
    Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in Knesset
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    That call has been echoed by some members of the cabinet of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett - who has held off, saying he first awaited the deputy attorney-general's findings.
    Prosecutors in the Netanyahu trial requested that Jerusalem District Court give them until Wednesday to deliver a fuller response, citing a need to declassify materials first, the Justice Ministry statement said.
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