Companies like NSO can’t sell their products to non-governmental actors, newly-appointed Israeli Ambassador to India Naor Gilon said on Thursday, while terming as an ”internal thing” for New Delhi the row over spyware Pegasus.
His comments at a press conference came following questions over allegations of unauthorized surveillance using Israeli NSO Group’s spyware Pegasus and whether the Indian government contacted Israel over the issue.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a probe into the matter.
The Israeli envoy said what is happening in India over Pegasus is an internal matter of the country.
”I will not go into more details…NSA is a private Israeli company. Every export of NSO or such companies needs an export license of the Israeli government. We grant this export license only for exporting to governments,” he said.
”This is the only main requirement that they cannot…under the requirements, they cannot sell it to non-governmental actors. What’s happening here in India is an internal thing for India,” he said. An international investigative consortium had claimed that many Indian ministers, politicians, activists, businessmen, and journalists were potentially targeted by the NSO Group’s phone hacking software.
The Supreme Court has set up a three-member independent expert panel to probe the alleged use of Pegasus for targeted surveillance in India, observing the state cannot get a ”free pass” every time the specter of national security is raised and that its mere invocation cannot render the judiciary a ”mute spectator” and be the bugbear it shies away from.