Israel has launched an investigation against the NSO Group over the Pegasus snooping scandal. The officials inspect the offices of the cybersecurity company. on the alleged misuse by several government organizations.
A spokesman for Israel’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday the NSO’s office was raided to assess the allegations made by the company. However, the spokesperson did not give further details of the raid.
According to local media reports, the Export Control Division of the Defense Ministry and the National Security Council Department raided the office of the NSO, who can also conduct investigations if needed. The main issue of investigation is whether the company has acted in accordance with the permissions and powers granted by the Ministry of Defence.
Pegasus software has raised concerns about privacy-related issues for spying on journalists, human rights defenders, politicians, and others in countries around the world, including India. An international media association has claimed that information about politicians, rights activists, and journalists around the world has been sold by an Israeli software firm to other governments.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited Paris on Wednesday and assured his French counterpart Florence Parly that it was taking the issue seriously after news emerged that spyware was used against French President Emmanuel Macron.
A spokesman for Israel’s defense minister said on the issue of the NSO, Minister Gantz called for the allegations to be taken seriously. He said Israel allows the export of cyber products to government entities, only to prevent legitimate use and to prevent crime and counter-terrorism. The spokesman further said that Israel last week set up a committee to review NSO Group’s allegations of software misuse.