Arnon Grunberg



On face-saving – Amitai Ziv in Haaretz:

‘One of France's intelligence organizations, which is responsible for investigating the Pegasus spyware created by Israeli cyber-espionage firm NSO, said that the surveillance software has been found on the telephone of a senior journalist for France 24, the Le Monde newspaper reported Thursday.
The news comes in the wake of the publication of a massive international investigation called Project Pegasus, led by an organization called Forbidden Stories together with Amnesty International and a consortium of newspapers and journalists across the world. The investigation, based on leaked data, revealed a long list of high-profile individuals that were selected as potential targets for the firm’s Pegasus spyware by its clients.
This is the first external and official confirmation of the project's findings. The French investigation was led by ANSSI, France’s National Agency for the Security of Information Systems, in cooperation with the police’s cyber unit and its internal intelligence services. NSO has not yet responded to questions regarding the latest developments.’


‘The Project Pegasus report revealed a long list of alleged violations of terms of service for the surveillance tool. The list of potential targets includes journalists and human rights activists, as well as heads of state. The investigation has raised international criticism of Israel and has drawn it into a diplomatic crisis. In light of the news of the news that French President Emmanuel Macron was on the list of targets, Defense Minister Benny Gantz flew to France on Wednesday to discuss it.’


‘The diplomatic crisis has pushed Israel to reevaluate its defense technology export policies, resulting in the establishment of an inter-ministerial group of representatives from the defense, justice and foreign ministries, along with the IDF and intelligence organizations. The team is headed by the director general of the Defense Ministry, Amir Eshel, and the director general of the Foreign Ministry, Alon Ushpiz.’

Read the article here.

It’s hard to believe that NSO Group wasn’t aware of ‘misuse’ of its technology until Project Pegasus.

Furthermore, according to its website the company is developing technology to prevent ‘terror and crime.’ It all depends on your definition; the worst dictators will claim that they are just fighting terror and crime.

Furthermore, it’s unclear how close the NSO group is to the IDF, but it’s safe to assume that IDF / Shin Beth are the primary customers of NSO. The export of the technology is just a side effect of the ongoing efforts of the Israeli military complex to take war to its next level i.e. eliminate the enemy before he can start his actions or eliminate the weapons of the enemy before they reach your territory (Iron Drome.)

War is the great innovator, which is not say that war is a positive force.

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