Amid the raging controversy over its surveillance software PegasusThe Israeli cybersecurity company NSO Group has made a name for itself by stating that millions of people around the world sleep peacefully at night and walk the streets safely thanks to such technologies available from intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies.
The company also said it does not use the technology and has no access to data collected by its customers.
Alleged use of Pegasus software to spy on journalists, human rights defenders, politicians and others in a number of countries, including India, has raised concerns about privacy issues.
According to an international media consortium, politicians, human rights activists and journalists have been victims of telephone spyware sold to various governments by an Israeli firm.
“Millions of people around the world sleep soundly at night and walk safely through the streets thanks to Pegasus and similar technologies that help intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies around the world prevent and investigate the crime, terrorism and pedophilia groups that lurk under the umbrella of end-to-end encryption applications.” – said the representative of the NSO.
“NSO, along with many other cyber intelligence companies in the world, provides cyber intelligence tools to governments because law enforcement agencies around the world are in the dark and there is no regulatory solution that would allow them to track malicious activities in instant messaging and social media. Mass media, ”the company said.
Regarding the controversy surrounding its world-shaking surveillance software, a spokesman said that “NSO does not use this technology and we do not have access to the collected data.”
“We are doing everything we can to make the world a safer place.” he said.
The NSO, in a written response to PTI in October 2019, when the issue first came to attention due to reports of misuse in India, stated that it considers “any other use of our products other than preventing serious crime and terrorism as misuse, which is contractually prohibited.” …
“We take action if we find any abuse. This technology is based on the protection of human rights, including the rights to life, safety and physical integrity, and therefore we have striven to align them with the UN Human Rights Guidelines for Business Conduct to ensure that our products comply with all basic human rights. “, – said in a statement, and its leaders still adhere to this position.
Without confirming or denying whether the software was sold to India, the company said its “products are licensed to government intelligence and law enforcement for the sole purpose of preventing and investigating terror and serious crime.”
“To protect the current public safety mission of its agency’s clients and given significant legal and contractual constraints, NSO Group cannot disclose who is or is not a client, or discuss specific use cases for its technology,” it said in a written statement.
Amid recent controversies, Israel has established a committee to review allegations of misuse of NSO surveillance software and hinted at a possible “review of the entire licensing issue.”
“The Defense Department has appointed a multi-agency oversight committee,” MP Ram Ben-Barak, head of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, told Army Radio on Thursday.
“When they finish their review, we will demand to see the results and assess whether we need to make corrections,” added Ben-Barak, formerly deputy head of the Israeli spy agency Mossad.
He stressed that Israel’s priority was “to consider the whole issue of licensing.”
NSO CEO Shalev Julio welcomed the move, telling Army Radio that he “would be very happy if there was an investigation so we can clear our name.”
Julio claimed that there was an attempt to “vilify the entire Israeli cyber industry.”
Ben-Barak noted that Pegasus helped “expose many terrorist cells,” but “if it has been misused or sold to irresponsible authorities, this is something we need to check.”