White House raises concerns with Israel about possible NSO spyware controversy

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by Karen Faulkner, Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Israel may be at the center of a diplomatic crisis after the raised concerns about reports that Pegasus spyware from Israeli firm NSO was illegally used to target journalists, activists, and politicians, including French President Emmanuel Macron, Axios reported on Wednesday.

Israel has issued several countries with NSO export licenses to sell its Pegasus software: this is intended only for governments to apprehend terrorists and other criminals. However, an international consortium of investigative journalists reported earlier this month that the spyware has been used by governments to target reporters and critics.

The report named Hungary, , , Morocco, and as clients of NSO, Axios said.

Biden administration adviser Brett McGurk met with senior Israeli Ministry of Defense official Zohar Palti at the White House on Thursday, to discuss how Israel is handling the spyware crisis, Axios was told. Palti said Israel is taking the matter seriously in investigating what happened and to find out whether there was any violation of an NSO export license. Palti also said Israel will examine whether it needs to change its policy on issuing the NSO software.

Israel’s government has set up a task force to manage the crisis and deal with diplomatic, , and legal consequences, Axios reports.

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