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Israeli lawmaker eyes spyware export curbs

Tech & IT desk || shiningbd

Published: 18:34, 22 July 2021  
Israeli lawmaker eyes spyware export curbs

Israel's parliamentary review panel may recommend changes to defence export policy over high-profile allegations that spyware sold by Israeli cyber firm NSO Group has been abused in several countries, a senior lawmaker said on Thursday.

Among suspected targets of NSO's Pegasus software is French President Emmanuel Macron, who planned to convene his cabinet on Thursday over calls for investigations.

"We certainly have to look anew at this whole subject of licences granted by DECA," Ram Ben-Barak, head of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, told Israel's Army Radio, referring to the government-run Defence Export Controls Agency.

Israel has appointed an inter-ministerial team to assess reports published since Sunday following an investigation by 17 media organisations, which said Pegasus software had been used in attempted and successful hacks of smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials and human rights activists.

Other world leaders among those whose phone numbers the news organisations said were on a list of possible targets include Pakistani Prime Minister Imram Khan and Morocco's King Mohammed VI.

NSO has rejected the reporting by the media partners as "full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories". Reuters has not independently verified the reporting.

 

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