NEU-DELHI: Cornered by questions from media organizations related to the abuse of Pegasus Spyware that is based in Israel NSO group created to help governments track down terrorists, sex and drug trafficking rings, NSO Group has announced it will “stop responding to media inquiries” as journalists, activists and political opponents have been spied on by its espionage technologies.
A series of high-profile news articles revealed how NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware was used by government agencies in India to spy on activists, journalists and people critical of the government. Not only in India, but also the French President’s smartphone Emmanuel Macron was allegedly monitored by the Moroccan secret service with Pegasus.
The NSO Group referred to the entire reveal as Forbidden stories as a “planned and well coordinated media campaign”. The company in its defense said, “The list is not a list of targets or potential targets for Pegasus. The numbers in the list do not relate to the NSO group. Any claim that a name in the list is necessarily associated with a Pegasus target or a potential Pegasus target is false and false. ”
The NSO Group claims to only work with authorized governments. It has 60 customers in 40 countries. The company said that 51% of its users belong to it Secret services, 38% law enforcement and 11% military.
In its latest transparency report, NSO Group said it does not operate Pegasus, has no visibility into its usage, and does not collect any information about customers.
“NSO is a technology company. We do not operate the system and do not have access to our customers’ data, but they are obliged to provide us with such information as part of the investigation, ”it says in a post on his website.
However, the NSO Group said it would thoroughly investigate “any credible evidence of misuse of its technology” by its customers.
According to the company’s transparency report, Pegasus is not a mass surveillance technology. “It only collects data from the mobile devices of certain people who are suspected of being involved in serious crime and terrorism,” says its transparency and responsibility report. Note, however, that the NSO Group “has no insight into their use” as “they do not operate Pegasus”.
In other words, the company is contradicting itself as it has little to no control over how governments use Pegasus after its purchase. And the latest reports show that none of Pegasus’ potential targets in India or around the world had anything to do with terrorism, pedophilia, sex and drug trafficking rings.