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Gantz: Ministry of Defense examining investigative report on Israeli surveillance company

Israel is front and center of an international controversy over spyware that was used by foreign governments to track and hack into the phones of journalists, political officials and human rights activists, some of whom were murdered.

Minister of Defense Benny Gantz said today in a speech at Cyber Week at Tel Aviv University: “We are aware of recent publications regarding the use of systems developed by certain Israeli cyber companies.”

He noted that the Ministry of Defense in looking into the investigative report on NSO Group, a Herzliya-based company that sells spyware to foreign governments.

Gantz explained that Israel regulates the industry and permits the export of cyber products “solely to governments, only for lawful use and exclusively for the purposes of preventing and investigating crime and terrorism.”

Israel’s Defense Ministry stated on Monday it will “take appropriate action” if it is determined that NSO Group violated its licenses, while foreign countries worried that the data could have been shared with the Israeli government.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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