Huge data leak shatters the lie that the innocent need not fear surveillance

By | July 19, 2021

Paul Lewis writes:

Billions of people are inseparable from their phones. Their devices are within reach – and earshot – for almost every daily experience, from the most mundane to the most intimate.

Few pause to think that their phones can be transformed into surveillance devices, with someone thousands of miles away silently extracting their messages, photos and location, activating their microphone to record them in real time.

Such are the capabilities of Pegasus, the spyware manufactured by NSO Group, the Israeli purveyor of weapons of mass surveillance.

NSO rejects this label. It insists only carefully vetted government intelligence and law enforcement agencies can use Pegasus, and only to penetrate the phones of “legitimate criminal or terror group targets”.

Yet in the coming days the Guardian will be revealing the identities of many innocent people who have been identified as candidates for possible surveillance by NSO clients in a massive leak of data.

Without forensics on their devices, we cannot know whether governments successfully targeted these people. But the presence of their names on this list indicates the lengths to which governments may go to spy on critics, rivals and opponents. [Continue reading…]

Print Friendly, PDF & Email