Israel's Attorney General has ordered an investigation into police surveillance tactics amid reports of law enforcement misuse of a controversial hacking tool, Reuters reported.
A report in the financial daily Calcalist describing police misuse of Pegasus spyware by the Israeli NSO Group — a company currently blacklisted by the US government — has already prompted Parliament to seek clarification from police officials.
In a public letter to the Police Commissioner, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said the initial investigation into the case found no evidence of systemic misuse of surveillance technology. However, he said it was difficult to trace the specific cases reported in the media due to the lack of identifying information.
Calcalist reported that police have used the Pegasus against targets, including leaders of anti-government protests, sometimes without the necessary court warrants.
It is difficult to overestimate the seriousness of the alleged violation of fundamental rights, Mandelblit said.
he added he formed a team, led by his deputy, to study the matter systematically and thoroughly.
Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said police are conducting an internal investigation that has so far found no abuse.