In May 2019, Amnesty International and New York University (NYU) had sued the Israeli Ministry of Defence (MOD) to get NSO Group’s export licence revoked. Israel's security cabinet minister Zeev Elkin today denied any Israeli government involvement in sale of Pegasus by NSO Group, stating that "NSO Group is a private player" and "there is no Israeli government involvement", according to a Reuters report. MediaNama has reached out to Amnesty International for comment. On October 29, WhatsApp sued the NSO Group for exploiting a since-then fixed vulnerability for targeting 1,400 people, about 100 of whom were human rights defenders, journalists, political dissenters, and lawyers in at least 20 countries. About two dozen of these are activists and journalists from India. Amnesty’s affidavit for the lawsuit said that NSO Group had attempted to infect the mobile of an Amnesty employee with Pegasus in June 2018, a claim that Citizen Lab’s research also supports. Citizen Lab is a University of Toronto-based research organisation that helped WhatsApp trace human rights activists, journalists, political dissenters and lawyers that had been targeted by Pegasus using the WhatsApp vulnerability. According to affidavit, that attempt caused a “chilling effect” on the individual staffer and across Amnesty International’s operations. “Allowing NSO Group to continue selling the Pegasus spyware platform threatens the rights to privacy and to freedom of opinion and expression, in reach of Israel’s obligations under international human rights law”. — Amnesty International The lawsuit was filed on May 14 in the District Court of Tel Aviv, and was accompanied by Amnesty’s…
Amnesty sued Israeli Defence Ministry over Pegasus in May 2019; Israel minister denies involvement
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