New Delhi: Amnesty International on Thursday said that it stood by the Pegasus Project and insisted that the leaked data in the project is “irrefutably linked to potential targets of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware”. Amnesty International released the statement after certain media reports suggested that the human rights organisation said that the leaked data did not specifically refer to targets of Pegasus spyware.
The non-governmental organisation, in its statement, said: “Amnesty International categorically stands by the findings of the Pegasus Project, and that the data is irrefutably linked to potential targets of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. The false rumours being pushed on social media are intended to distract from the widespread unlawful targeting of journalists, activists and others that the Pegasus Project has revealed.”
The NSO Group on Wednesday said that it will not respond to media enquiries any longer and that the reporting on the issue has been a planned and well-orchestrated campaign by Forbidden Stories and other special interest groups.
Israel on Thursday announced that it has established a commission to review allegations against the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware to find out if it was misused, the head of parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee said Thursday. “The defence establishment appointed a review commission made up of a number of groups,” lawmaker Ram Ben Barak told Army Radio. Arguing that there was a conspiracy to malign the Israeli cyber industry, the NSO Group’s chief executive Shalev Hulio told Army Radio Thursday that he would “be very pleased if there were an investigation so that we’d be able to clear our name”.
The Pegasus Project, conducted by an international media consortium of 17 media organisations from across the world, has caused a global uproar. The ‘Pegasus Report’ was published by Indian news portal The Wire as well as 16 other international publications, including The Washington Post, The Guardian and Le Monde, as media partners in an investigation, conducted by Paris-based media non-profit organisation Forbidden Stories and rights group Amnesty International, into a leaked list of more than 50,000 phone numbers from across the world that are believed to have been the target of surveillance through Israeli spyware firm NSO Group’s Pegasus software.
(With inputs from PTI)