Israeli Gov’t Probe Found Police’s Use of Spyware Compliant with Warrants

A report issued by a special investigation team found no indications that the Israel police had warrantlessly infected, or attempted to infect, smartphones with spyware. The team was assembled by the Israeli Attorney General to examine the allegations raised by the Israeli newspaper Calcalist, according to which the police perform systematic warrantless surveillance of innocent individuals using NSO’s “Pegasus” spyware.

The team’s report covered both the use of Pegasus and another unnamed technology. According to the team’s findings, of all the phone numbers that Calcalist alleged to have been infected with Pegasus, only two were identified in police records to had been subject to an attempted infection. The two attempts were reportedly based on lawfully issued warrants, and only one of the attempts was successful. The report also concluded that Calcalist’s allegations regarding the use of other named technologies were unsupported.

Unless determined otherwise, the investigation team is expected to continue to examine, among other things, police’s use of Pegasus in smartphones other than those published by Calcalist, and the compatibility of the advanced tools that the police use for investigation with the investigative authority it has under the law.