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Pegasus Row: Millions of People Sleep Peacefully Due to Such Tech, Says NSO

Amid the ongoing controversy Israel has constituted a committee to review allegations of misuse of the NSO group’s surveillance software and hinted at a possible “review of the whole matter of giving licences”.

Chungneijang Mery Kom Hmangte and Manpreet Singh, of India, carry their country's flag during the opening ceremony in the Olympic Stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Friday, July 23, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Israeli firm NSO Group on Saturday has issued a statement defending and said that it was due to the availability technologies like Pegasus with the law enforcement agencies  that million of people were able to sleep peacefully and walk in streets safely.

The comapmny also said that it has nop access to data that is collected by its clinets.

A joint investigation of several media organisations in collaboration with Amnesty International and Frobidden Stories, a French non-profit had claimed that phones of journalists, regime critics and human rights activists were hacked using the spyware.

One of the media organisation The Wire claimed that hopnes of over 40 journalists, human rights activists Opposition leaders and one sitting judge were hacked by the spyware in India.

“Millions of people around the world are sleeping well at night, and safely walking in the streets, thanks to Pegasus and similar technologies which help intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies around the world to prevent and investigate crime, terrorism, and paedophilia rings that are hiding under the umbrella of end-to-End encryption apps,” a spokesperson for NSO said.

“NSO, together with many of the other cyber intelligence companies in the world, provides cyber intelligence tools for governments because law enforcement agencies around the world are in the dark and there’s no regulatory solution that allows them to monitor malicious acts on instant messaging and social media”, the company said.

“NSO, together with many of the other cyber intelligence companies in the world, provides cyber intelligence tools for governments because law enforcement agencies around the world are in the dark and there’s no regulatory solution that allows them to monitor malicious acts on instant messaging and social media”, the company said.

“NSO does not operate the technology, nor do we have visibility to the data collected”.

“We are doing our best to help create a safer world,” it said.

Amid the ongoing controversy Israel has constituted a committee to review allegations of misuse of the NSO group’s surveillance software and hinted at a possible “review of the whole matter of giving licences”.

“The defence establishment appointed a review committee made up of a number of bodies,” lawmaker Ram Ben-Barak, the head of Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, told Army Radio on Thursday.

“When they finish their review, we”ll demand to see the results and assess whether we need to make corrections,” Ben-Barak, who earlier was the former deputy head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, added.

Israel’s priority was “to review this whole matter of giving licences”, he stressed.

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NSO’s chief executive, Shalev Hulio, welcomed the move, telling Army Radio that he would “be very pleased if there were an investigation so that we’d be able to clear our name”.

Hulio claimed that there was an effort “to smear the whole Israeli cyber industry”.

Ben-Barak noted that Pegasus had helped “expose many terror cells”, but “if it was misused or sold to irresponsible bodies, this is something we need to check”.

With inputs from PTI

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