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Israeli govt raids NSO offices to investigate the Pegasus scam

IndiaIsraeli govt raids NSO offices to investigate the Pegasus scam

The Israeli govt raids NSO offices to investigate the Pegasus scam while the “Modi govt. raids Dainik Bhaskar’s office that exposed the Pegasus scam.”

Due to the high concerns of mega scam, the Israeli spyware firm NSO Group has temporarily blocked several government clients from using its product as it investigates their possible misuse of the technology, an employee told news agencies.

The inspection was announced on Wednesday in a tweet in Hebrew by the Israeli defense ministry’s official Twitter account, which stated: “Representatives from a number of bodies came to NSO today to examine the publications and allegations raised in its case”

Israeli authorities have executed an inspection of the office of the cyber-security firm NSO group following allegations by a global consortium of journalists about the misuse of its Pegasus spyware around the world.

The defense ministry didn’t classify the bodies that visited the NSO Group office or deliver more information. Israeli news website Calcalist, which first reported the inspection, described it as a “raid”. Reports said officials inspected the firm’s office at Herzliya near Tel Aviv.

The report by Calcalist said the possibility of the inspection by authorities leading to “substantial sanctions on NSO is slim” also saying that the defense ministry and NSO have “complementary interests”, and authorities have in the past used their “power to protect the company from criticism and lawsuits”.

Calcalist also stated that the inspection was coordinated with NSO and didn’t include an audit or examination of the firm’s computer systems or documents.

NSO Group confirmed the inspection in a statement sent to the media: “We can confirm that representatives from the Israeli Ministry of Defense visited our offices. We welcome their inspection.”

The firm, which has already denied the allegations of unauthorised surveillance of mobile phones using its spyware, said it is “working in full transparency with the Israeli authorities.” It proceeded to say, “We are confident that this inspection will prove the facts are as declared repeatedly by the company against the false allegations made against us in the recent media attacks.”

Newspaper Dainik Bhaskar tax raided for exposing mismanagement of COVID-19 and Pegasus scam?

In India “Through its reporting, Dainik Bhaskar has exposed the Modi regime’s monumental mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic”.  The newspaper had also been exposing the  Pegasus scam allegations and a Congress MP has written to the Union finance minister alleging that there is a strong public perception that the recent raids on two news outlets’ offices were intended to ‘punish’ them for their coverage of mismanagement of the COVID-19 crisis.

Dainik Bhaskar is an Indian Hindi-language daily newspaper, ranking 4th in the world by circulation, and is the largest newspaper in India by circulation and the news they share would definitely have a powerful impact.

However many sources allege that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah are using investigative agencies like the Income Tax department to conduct raids to suppress media houses because whenever they start exposing anything about the government, they are almost immediately visited with a tax raid, and the move has become so predictable to everyone now and the Pegasus case is no exception.

Center Refuses a Probe:

The international media consortium last week publishing reports based on what is believed to be a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers worldwide that were targeted by NSO’s customers for surveillance.  There was evidence of the Pegasus spyware was found on 37 phones that were examined by forensic experts, including in India.

Indian journalists, businesspeople, critics of the government, and politicians were among those allegedly targeted in India.  Thus, the Indian government is denying a need for investigation in the matter.

NSO says its software is sold only to government customers after vetting by Israeli authorities; however, the Indian government has denied all wrongdoing and has also not confirmed or denied acquiring the Pegasus spyware.

The NSO Group has faced mounting pressure from the global community, especially after the international consortium of journalists’ reports revealed that among the phones targeted for surveillance were those of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and French President Emmanuel Macron. The French leader immediately has sought an investigation.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz is set to meet his French counterpart Florence Parly to brief her on the findings of a government assessment of NSO’s exports. A statement from Gantz’s office said: “He will also update the minister on the topic of NSO.”

Gantz’s ministry, which oversees commercial exports of cyber-surveillance technologies, is part of a high-level task force assessing allegations about Pegasus.

It seems strange that the Indian government is opposed to an investigation on Pegasus even when the names of many prominent Indians are revealed to be on the list of hacks for the spyware.  The world is concerned and asking for probes, but the Center is avoiding it.

“File an FIR for Pegasus,” says BJP accusing Congress chief Rahul Gandhi of not filing an FIR. 
Since Pegasus is an international and national issue too, it should be treated at that level and an investigational probe should be launched and the government’s refusal to do so would only enable international body investigations to get involved.
Also filing anFIR under the BJP ruled police in Delhi would not work as one well knows.  The case would dwindle and then be declared as nothing in it.  It will only work for BJP.

Does the government have something to hide, thereby curtailing any investigations on Pegasus?

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