NSO, the Israeli cybersecurity company, claimed Wednesday that French President Emmanuel Macron wasn’t being targeted by his controversial Pegasus program. This was in light of a global spying scandal that led NGO Reporters Without Borders and NGO Reporters Without Borders asking for a moratorium.
Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International obtained a list with 50,000 numbers from NSO clients, which was selected for possible monitoring. They shared the information with 17 media outlets, who disclosed its existence on Sunday.
President Emmanuel Macron of France, King Mohammed VI (Maroc) and Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan are all on the Pegasus list. More than 180 journalists around world have allegedly been spied by states with access to the network. software supplied by NSO.
Pegasus can be integrated into a smartphone and allows you access to messages, photos, contacts and remote activation of microphones.
Chaïm Gelfand, a senior group official, told Tel Aviv-based I24 news on Wednesday: “I can tell you with certainty that President Macron was not a target.”
“There have been some cases that have come out that we are concerned about,” he said.
We keep trying to find all the facts, but it can take several years to get through everything. He said that the fact that an activist or journalist has been targeted by a system like this automatically makes it a hijacking.
Soon after, the group, which is based in Herzliya (a beautiful city north of Tel Aviv), claimed it was the victim of a “vicious, slanderous campaign” and released a statement saying that it would not answer any questions. The media coverage of the Pegasus case.
“NSO is not a technology company. We don’t operate the systems or have access the data of our customers. However, they are obligated by law to provide this information to us in the event that investigations are conducted.”
– A moratorium –
Reporters Without Borders (RSF), a press freedom organization, called Wednesday on Israel to immediately place a moratorium against the sale of this spyware.
Pegasus does not allow for the protection of computer systems but allows for the infiltration of them. Therefore, it must be approved by the Israeli Ministry of Defense before being sold to third countries.
Software developed by Israeli companies, such as NSO’s Pegasus, clearly implicates Israel. RSF stated in a report that even though the Israeli authorities played an indirect role they could not escape their responsibility. Communicated.
“We call upon (Israeli) Prime Min Naftali Bennett immediately to impose a moratorium exports of surveillance tech until a protective regulatory framework is established,” stated Christophe Deloire, RSF Secretary General.
Contacted by AFP Mr. Bennett’s office didn’t respond to our inquiry. Former defense minister, Bennett made his fortune in high tech before entering politics. He defended this booming sector within Israel on Wednesday without commenting about the NSO file.
“For every $ 100 invested in cyber defense around the world, $ 41 is invested in Israeli firms,” he said, attributing the local prosperity of the sector to the elite army units that serve as incubator for local start-ups.