Israel Will Reportedly ‘Look Into’ Spyware Claims While Macron Wants Investigations

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Graison Dangor   Forbes U.S. Staff

Israel Will Reportedly ‘Look Into’ Spyware Claims While Macron Wants Investigations

Photo: Emmanuel Macron Facebook 

Israel’s national security council will “look into” claims that a spyware app developed by an Israeli company was used to spy on journalists and world leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, whose administration said Wednesday that the use of the Pegasus spyware should be investigated, according to Reuters.

KEY FACTS

- Israel’s National Security Council is reviewing claims about the spyware app, an unnamed source told Reuters Wednesday.

- It is not a formal investigation of Pegasus, the app, or the company, NSO Group, which is based in Israel.

- The source told Reuters that it is “doubtful” that Israel would prevent NSO Group from continuing to sell Pegasus.

- The prime minister of France told French broadcaster TF1 Wednesday that Macron wants the use of the spyware to be investigated.

KEY BACKGROUND

Phone numbers of seven current heads of state, including Macron, and seven former ones, including prime ministers of Lebanon and Belgium, were some of the more than 50,000 leaked to the French news outlet Forbidden Stories, which introduced its Pegasus Project investigation on Sunday. Hundreds of public officials were on a list of possible surveillance targets by government clients using Pegasus, including Saudi Arabia and Mexico. In addition to political leaders, journalists, activists and business executives were also apparently spied on.

BIG NUMBER

10. That’s the number of countries with evidence of being an NSO Group client, based on a forensic review by Citizen Lab—one of the Pegasus Project investigators—according to the Washington Post, which is also part of the project. Along with Mexico and Saudi Arabia, the list includes India, Rwanda, Morocco, Hungary, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. NSO Group says it has 60 clients including spy agencies, law enforcement and militaries of 40 countries, the Post reported.

 

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Graison Dangor   Forbes U.S. Staff

I am a breaking news reporter at Forbes focusing on health stories. I have reported on mental health, business and other topics for NPR, Kaiser Health News, Al Jazeera and my home-state paper, the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I received my MA in Business and Economic Reporting at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and and my BA from the University of Minnesota.