An Israeli commission examining allegations that Pegasus spyware NSO Group has been misused by its clients to target journalists and human rights activists will examine whether rules on Israel's export of cyber weapons such as Pegasus should be tightened, a senior lawmaker said.
ThisThe decision came as French President Emmanuel Macron called an emergency cybersecurity meeting after reporting his cell phones and those of government ministers appeared in the list. A Macron Elysee official said the president's phone and phone numbers had been changed.
NSO has stated that Macron was not a "target " of any of his clients, which means the company denies being selected for the monitoring using spyware, say in several statements that it requires its government clients to use its powerful spy tools only for legitimate investigations into theterrorism or crime.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel added her voice to the growing controversy on Thursday, telling reporters in Berlin that spyware such as NSO should be denied to countries where there was no judicial review, after it emerged that 14 heads of state were on the list.
if she regretted that the technology sold by NSO Group has helped undermine free speech in countries ruled by autocratic regimes, said Merkel:" I think it is important that the software developed for some situations do not fall into the wrong hands. There must be restrictive conditions and such software must not be sold to countries where judicial review of such hits cannot be guaranteed. "
The growing impact of the revelations of the Pegasus project, a collaboration of 17 organmedia isations including the Guardian, which launched on Sunday with a series of claims about the misuse of the software, continued to resonate.
In Israel, the prospect of Tighter controls on the export of spyware such as Pegasus was mentioned by Ram Ben-Barak, the head of the parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee - and former deputy head of the Mossad espionage - on military radio as it revealed that "the defense establishment [has] appointed a review board made up of a number of the groups.
"We certainly need to revisit this whole subject of licenses granted by DECA [Israel Defense Export Control Agency]," he said. "When they have completed their exam, we will demand to see the resultsand assess whether we need to make any corrections.
DECA is part of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and oversees ONS exports. The ministry and the company have said that Pegasus is intended for use only in tracking down terrorists and criminals, and that all foreign clients are government controlled.
At the heart of it is a pulped database of approximately 50,000 mobile phone numbers. The Guardian and other media partners who gained access to the data believe the list indicates people of interest selected by NSO's government clients. This includes some people whose phones showed traces of NSO's Pegasus spyware, according to forensic analysis of their devices.
The appearance of a number on the
NSO declares that the database is "of no relevance" to the company and rejected the filing presented by Project Pegasus as "full of flawed assumptions and unsubstantiated theories". He denied that the
The alleged abuse has raised questions within Naftali Bennett's multi-party coalition , one of whose members, the Liberal Meretz Party, asked Defense Minister Benny Gantz about NSO exports at a meeting on Thursday.
Gantz "human rights in arms sales," said a joint statement.