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Israel’s NSO Group Files Defamation Lawsuit Against Business Daily

The Israeli company NSO Group, which makes the controversial Pegasus spyware, has filed a lawsuit alleging defamation against the Israeli business daily Calcalist over a series of articles that reported the alleged illegal use of Pegasus by the Israel Police targeting government officials, journalists and activists. The lawsuit filed at the Magistrate’s Court in Rishon Lezion against the news website, which is owned by Yedioth Acharonot, includes the news site’s founder and publisher, as well as its editor; it asks for $309,000 in damages.

The lawsuit was filed after an article by Calcalist that reported that NSO allows clients to hide their activity after a breach, by deleting or amending logs on compromised cellphones. The article was taken down from the Calcalist news website after NSO sent a warning letter.

A state commission of inquiry last week found that the Israel Police used the spyware legally, with judicial oversight.