Middle East

Israel police find indication of unlawful surveillance

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli police said Tuesday that it had found evidence pointing to unauthorized use of sophisticated spyware by its own investigators to snoop on Israeli citizens’ phones.

The announcement came two weeks after an Israeli newspaper reported a string of instances of the police using the NSO Group’s Pegasus software to surveil protesters, politicians and criminal suspects without authorization from a judge. The report caused outrage in Israel and prompted the attorney general and lawmakers to launch investigations.

Last month, police said a preliminary internal investigation had found no evidence of alleged misuse of the controversial spyware. But on Tuesday, the police said a secondary inspection “found additional evidence that changes certain aspects of the state of affairs.”

The police had previously denied the report’s findings and said they operate according to the law.

Israel’s attorney general has instructed the police “to adopt procedures immediately in order to prevent breach of authority” and instructed his fact-finding team to submit a report about allegations of unlawful surveillance of civilians by July 1.

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