The FBI confirmed that The Washington Post that the agency was licensed to use NSO’s Pegasus spyware and tested the capabilities of the software. The Bureau insists that software capable of silently infecting telephones and accessing camera and microphone broadcasts, contacts, texts, etc. has never been used “in support of any investigation”, but Publications The report said there had been at least discussions in the FBI and the Department of Justice about how the FBI could undertake spyware deployment.

Confirmation comes after that New York Times published an extensive report last week that included details of the FBI’s relationship with the NSO. Not only is the FBI testing spyware on phones that use foreign SIM cards, according to Postbut the agency also held discussions about the legality of a version of Pegasus that could be used in the United States called the Phantom.

This is a worrying detail – the NSO has repeatedly stated that Pegasus cannot be used on +1 country phone numbers and is only allowed to be used in countries outside the United States. If it is a Phantom, as a former NSO employee said Deputy, just a brand for “the same Pegasus”, then the company told the public and law enforcement agencies many different stories. According to timesThe FBI has decided not to use Pegasus for international or domestic use at a time when Forbidden Stories and a coalition of news outlets have begun releasing dozens of reports focusing on spyware.

The FBI has not confirmed any other details from Times report to Post, such as the claim that she collected a $ 5 million account with the NSO and that she renewed a Pegasus contract at one point. However, the FBI reiterated its statement that “it will identify, evaluate and test technical solutions and problems for a variety of reasons, including possible operational and security concerns that they may be in the wrong hands.”

IN Times report it is worth reading as it examines in depth the Israeli government’s approval process for Pegasus and how the instrument eventually became part of the country’s foreign policy. He also went down in NSO history as a company, tracing how it went from a startup company focused on telephone support agents to a spyware company plagued by controversy, lawsuits, and reports of government abuse.

Since the initial reports came out last summer, the NSO has faced almost constant difficulties. The company has been blacklisted by the US government, which severely limits the way it can do business with US-based technology companies. Further investigations also linked spyware (allegedly sold only to government agencies approved by the Israeli government) to the murder of journalist Jamal Hashoghi, the hacking of US State Department phones and political surveillance in Poland. Apple is suing the company for the iPhone attack, and its chairman has resigned amid allegations that the Pegasus was used internally by Israeli police.