Human rights activists, journalists and opponents around the world have been spying on the use of software developed by an Israeli company, according to a multi-media investigation on Sunday.
NSO Group Spyware Pegasus can retrieve messages, photos, contacts and even listen to its owner’s calls when plugged into a smartphone.
Founded in 2011, the company continues to be accused of playing the game of dictatorial regimes, always ensuring that its software is used only to obtain information against criminal or terrorist networks.
Politicians, journalists, companies spied
But in a list compiled in 2016 by Prohibited Stories and Amnesty International, NSO customers accessed over 50,000 phone numbers selected for potential tracking. According to a study by 17 editorial staff, there are at least 180 journalists, 600 politicians, 85 human rights activists and 65 business leaders. This list is shared with others Belgian Media Le Sawyer And Knock.
The list, especially the figure of a Mexican journalist, Cecilio Pineta Britto, was shot just weeks after he appeared in the document. Foreign correspondents from a number of major media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, CNN, France 24, Mediapart, LPAs or AFP, are also part of this.
At the Amnesty International Laboratory, their journalists met with some of those whose phones had been recovered, targeting 67 phones subject to technical expertise.
According to reports released on Sunday, it has confirmed infection or contamination with NSO Group spyware for 37 devices.
The two phones belonged to women close to Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoghi, who was assassinated in 2018 by the commander of an agent from Saudi Arabia at his country’s consulate in Istanbul.
For the other 30, the results are not credible because often the owners of the numbers have switched phones.
“There is a strong temporal relationship between the number of times the numbers appear on the list and how they are monitored.“, Refers to the Washington Post.
This analysis, which undermines the company’s communications, comes in addition to a study conducted by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Laboratory in 2020, which confirmed the presence of Pegasus software on the phones of dozens of al-In employees. Jazeera Channel in Qatar.
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