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Calls across political spectrum to probe Israel Police Pegasus spyware misuse

Knesset members from across the political spectrum are calling for an official probe over publications that police had used the spyware Pegasus to hack phones of citizens without prior court order.
The logo of Israeli cyber company NSO Group is seen in the Arava Desert on Nov. 11, 2021, in Sapir, Israel.

Over the last few days, parties on the left and on the right called on the Knesset speaker to form a parliamentary commission of inquiry to investigate blistering reports about the alleged conduct of the Israel Police. According to these reports, the police tracked the movements and activities of civilians by using a spyware app called Pegasus, which it acquired from Israeli technology firm NSO in 2013. The app was allegedly installed in the cell phones of various social activists and mayors without a warrant, as required by law.

Ever since the financial paper Calcalist first published the results of its investigation Jan. 18, more and more disturbing details have come to light. The police were caught with their pants down, and now, given all of their contradictory statements, it seems that a formal investigation is inevitable. It certainly is a rare incident, especially now when the right and the left are united in their outrage.

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