Israeli cops used spyware against opponents of Benjamin Netanyahu: report
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (AFP)

Controversial spyware was deployed against political opponents the previous government in Israel, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

"Israeli police have used NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware to remotely access, control and extract information from cellphones belonging to Israeli citizens, including leaders of a protest movement against former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to an investigation published Tuesday in the Israeli outlet Calcalist," the newspaper reported. "The military-grade software developed by the private Israeli company NSO was also used to target a number of people who were not suspected of involvement in a crime, including mayors, former governmental employees and at least one person close to a senior politician, according to the report."

The company refused to comment and Israeli police denied the report.

"The Calcalist investigation said that police began using the software in 2020 to remotely surveil the phones of prominent activists of the “Black Flag” protest, which amid a surge of coronavirus cases, an economic crisis and a ongoing corruption trial against Netanyahu called for the prime minister’s ouster," the newspaper reported. "The report said NSO spyware was used to collect data on citizens to be used as leverage if they became subjects of an interrogation at a later date."

Read the full report.