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Israel: spyware NSO Group in talks to sell after scandal

January 27, 2022 at 1:16 pm

An Israeli woman uses her iPhone in front of the building housing the Israeli NSO group [JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images]

Israeli spyware company NSO Group is in talks to sell the company following last year’s scandal which revealed that it had sold its Pegasus programme to foreign governments, which used it to target government officials, journalists and others.

Israeli media outlets reported last week that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit had told Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai that he was going to open an investigation into claims that the police had also used the spyware to break into telephones belonging to Israeli citizens. According to the reports, Mandelblit asked Shabtai to hand over all warrants for phone-tapping operations in 2020/21 as part of the investigation.

On Tuesday, NSO Group chairman Asher Levy confirmed that he had left the company at the end of 2021. He denied that his departure had any connection to current lawsuits against the company.

Levy was NSO chairman from April 2020. He came in as an appointee of UK-based private equity firm Novalpina Capital, which bought NSO in 2019.

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