Jul 182021
 July 18, 2021  Posted by  Featured News, Surveillance

Amnesty International reports:

NSO Group’s spyware has been used to facilitate human rights violations around the world on a massive scale, according to a major investigation into the leak of 50,000 phone numbers of potential surveillance targets. These include heads of state, activists and journalists, including Jamal Khashoggi’s family.

The Pegasus Project is a ground-breaking collaboration by more than 80 journalists from 17 media organizations in 10 countries coordinated by Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based media non-profit, with the technical support of Amnesty International, who conducted cutting- edge forensic tests on mobile phones to identify traces of the spyware.

“The Pegasus Project lays bare how NSO’s spyware is a weapon of choice for repressive governments seeking to silence journalists, attack activists and crush dissent, placing countless lives in peril,” said Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

Read more on Amnesty International.

Update July 19:  The Hindustan Times reports:

Union minister for electronics and information technology (MeitY) Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday said that reports suggesting India used Israeli spyware Pegasus to hack phones of journalists, activists and ministers were nothing but an “attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions”.

Vaishnaw, who was making his first speech in Parliament as the new MeitY minister, said the “highly sensational story” has made several “over the top allegations” but there is “no substance behind them”.

Read more on Hindustan Times,

Of note, there was a thread on Twitter relating to Citizen Lab’s investigation into the study’s methodology and findings that it is sound.  With respect to India specifically, John Scott-Railton, a senior researcher at Citizen Lab, tweeted:

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