Amnesty International explains itself in Pegasus case
Amnesty’s Israeli partner organisation recently issued a statement saying that Amnesty never claimed that the 50 thousand people on their list had been wiretapped or that the list had anything to do with the Israeli company NSO.
“The telephone numbers have no direct link to NSO. According to Amnesty International, it is a list of numbers that could be of interest to NSO’s customers – different governments across the world – and and are not necessarily directly related to the Israeli company. Amnesty never called this list as ‘NSO’s Pegasus Spyware List’, although some of the world’s media may have done so,” the Hungarian portal Pestisracok.hu wrote, citing the Israeli Calcalist website.
The press in India is also analysing the statement, Pesitsracok.hu writes. The government there has also come under heavy attacks because of the allegations. The Indian republicworld portal quotes Amnesty: “Amnesty has never presented this list as ‘NSO’s Pegasus Spyware List’, although some of the world’s media may have done so. Amnesty, and the investigative journalists and media outlets in which they work, made it clear from the outset in very clear language that this is ‘A list of numbers marked as numbers of interest to NSO customers’, which are different regimes in the world.
The Israeli journalist was asked whether or not the list is linked to the NSO. He replied that “it is linked, but not directly. But there are people on the list who were monitored with the Pegasus.” This prompted Amnesty to issue another statement yesterday, saying “Amnesty International categorically stands by the findings of the Pegasus Project, and that the data is irrefutably linked to potential targets of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. The false rumours being pushed on social media are intended to distract from the widespread unlawful targeting of journalists, activists and others that the Pegasus Project has revealed.”
As the only portal outside India or Hungary, yahoo.com has also reported on the case, and sees the U-turn within a day as a serious blow to Amnesty’s credibility, their article reads.
In summary, Amnesty Israel says the data is not necessarily related to the NSO, the international centre claims it is. However, they agree that there is no evidence of the wiretapping of the people on the list other than the devices that were examined, a contradiction pointed out by the Pestisracok.hu. The portal then highlights that 67 devices have been tested by Amnesty Israel, of which 37 identified as containing the spyware. Hungarian press, however, claims that there are only 23 such devices.