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Artikel

18 Jul 2021

Autor*in:
The Guardian

NSO Group and governments respond to the Pegasus project

"Response from NSO and governments", 18 July 2021

NSO’s response to the Pegasus project

NSO Group firmly denies false claims made in your report, many of which are uncorroborated theories that raise serious doubts about the reliability of your sources, as well as the basis of your story.

NSO Group has good reason to believe that claims that you have been provided with, are based on misleading interpretation of leaked data from accessible and overt basic information, such as HLR Lookup services, which have no bearing on the list of the customers’ targets of Pegasus or any other NSO products.

Such services are openly available to anyone, anywhere, and anytime, and are commonly used by governmental agencies for numerous purposes, as well as by private companies worldwide. It is also beyond dispute that the data has many legitimate and entirely proper uses having nothing to do with surveillance or with NSO, so there can be no factual basis to suggest that a use of the data somehow equates to surveillance.

NSO does not operate the systems that it sells to vetted government customers, and does not have access to the data of its customers’ targets. NSO does not operate its technology, does not collect, nor possesses, nor has any access to any kind of data of its customers. Due to contractual and national security considerations, NSO cannot confirm or deny the identity of our government customers, as well as identity of customers of which we have shut down systems...

...Simply put, NSO Group is on a life-saving mission, and the company will faithfully execute this mission undeterred, despite any and all continued attempts to discredit it on false grounds.

Government responses to inquiries from the Pegasus project

Rwanda

Rwanda does not use this software system, as previously confirmed in November 2019, and does not possess this technical capability in any form. These false accusations are part of an ongoing campaign to cause tensions between Rwanda and other countries, and to sow disinformation about Rwanda domestically and internationally. This is libel, and enough is enough...

Hungary

We are not aware of any alleged data collection claimed by the request.

Hungary is a democratic state governed by the rule of law, and as such, when it comes to any individual it has always acted and continues to act in accordance with the law in force. In Hungary, state bodies authorised to use covert instruments are regularly monitored by governmental and non-governmental institutions...

Morocco

Moroccan authorities do not understand the context of the request by the international journalist consortium Forbidden Stories asking for answers and clarifications from the Moroccan government about the digital surveillance tools of the NSO Group.

We remind you that the unfounded allegations already published by Amnesty International and relayed by Forbidden Stories have already been the subject of an official response by the Moroccan authorities, who categorically denied such allegations...

India

...Considering the fact that answers to the queries posed have already been in public domain for a long time, it also indicates poorly conducted research and lack of due diligence by the esteemed media organisations involved.

Government of India’s response to a right to information application about the use of Pegasus has been prominently reported by media and is in itself sufficient to counter any malicious claims about the alleged association between the government of India and Pegasus...

...This news report, thus, also appears to be a similar fishing expedition, based on conjectures and exaggerations to malign the Indian democracy and its institutions...

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