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Israeli inquiry checking NSO database over police wiretap allegations -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: This aerial view depicts the logo for Israeli cyber company NSO Group in one of its branches, Arava Desert. It was taken July 22, 2021. Photograph taken using a drone. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM (Reuters). A High-Level Israeli Investigation into alleged warrantless Wiretaps by Police is currently examining a Database provided by NSO Group. This database was the maker of powerful hacking tool Pegasus.

NSO has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in the face of mounting reports from Israel and elsewhere about privacy violations by Pegasus clients. NSO has stated that its audit log database contains accurate information regarding phones infected with spyware.

Israel’s Calcalist published an unsourced report last Wednesday claiming that Pegasus had been used by police to target public figures such as a son of Benjamin Netanyahu and two close confidants.

Three corruption cases are pending against Netanyahu. Netanyahu has pleaded guilty to the charges. He pleaded innocent after the Calcalist report caused the court to cancel a session to allow prosecutors to respond to defense questions on whether evidence was obtained from wiretaps.

According to the Justice Ministry, an internal investigation by police found that no one was being prosecuted without a warrant from the court. The statement also stated that 1,500 telephone numbers had been checked.

A deputy attorney general is conducting an inquiry. It said that the investigation was also looking into information within NSO’s internal databases, which had been made public.

An NSO spokeswoman declined comment.

Netanyahu is now the Opposition Leader and has called for an external independent investigation into the Pegasus claims.

Some members of Naftali Bennett’s cabinet have echoed this call, but they are still waiting for the findings of the deputy attorney general.

According to the Justice Ministry statement, Netanyahu’s prosecution requested that Jerusalem District Court grant them until Wednesday for a complete response. This was due to the necessity to release classified materials.

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