FBI claims only bought access to Pegasus for 'evaluation'
The FBI claims it only purchased Pegasus to test it and evaluate it rather than use it against its own citizens or other targets abroad despite its precedents.
The FBI has confirmed to The Guardian that it had obtained access to the controversial spyware that put the Israeli occupation under fire, Pegasus, in 2019, claiming that the purpose of such purchase was only to test the product and evaluate it.
The agency purchased a limited license to "stay abreast of emerging technologies and tradecraft," the FBI told the British newspaper.
"There was no operational use in support of any investigation, the FBI procured a limited license for product testing and evaluation only," the statement read.
The Israeli NSO group had been the focal point of a scandal that exposed the usage of its spyware to spy on the phones of about 50,000 targets that included many prominent politicians, businessmen, activists, journalists, and opposition figures around the world.
In December, another scandal emerged, which said the iOS devices of 11 US State Department employees were subjected to an attack by spyware developed by the Israeli NSO Group.
The targets were either based in Uganda or focused on matters concerning Kampala.
Ahead of the discovery, the United States placed "Israel's" spyware maker NSO Group, the corporation behind the notorious Pegasus, on its list of restricted companies.
However, after it was made public that the firm was used to spy on US diplomats, several US lawmakers asked the departments of treasury and treasury to sanction the Israeli NSO Group and multiple other foreign surveillance companies.
The atrocities committed using the Pegasus spyware were so bad that even the Israeli police, which is notorious for its constant violations of human rights in occupied Palestine, said the spyware had been used illegally.