Jefferson Morley | May 23, 2019
Amnesty International Denounces Pegasus Spyware
Research has documented the use of NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware to target a wide swathe of civil society, including at least 24 human rights defenders, journalists and parliamentarians in Mexico; an Amnesty International employee; Saudi activists Omar Abdulaziz, Yahya Assiri, Ghanem Al-Masarir; award-winning Emirati human rights campaigner Ahmed Mansoor; and allegedly, murdered Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.
The complaint describes just how powerful the spyware is:
Once installed, Pegasus allows an operator to access all existing data on the mobile device, including contacts, photos, call history and previous text messages—regardless of encryption or other protections. The spyware platform can actively record or passively gather a variety of different data about and from the device, including communications and location information. Also particularly troubling, Pegasus allows an operator to remotely enable cameras and microphones to record the targets’ surroundings and private conversations—essentially converting the device into a sophisticated eavesdropping and tracking tool to be used against them.
You can read Amnesty’s formal complaint to an Israeli court here.
You can read the response of the owners of the NSO Group here.