The Guardian: The Pegasus project Human rights Pegasus project: spyware leak suggests lawyers and activists at risk across globe

Be afraid be very afraid..

The Guardian in the UK reports

Leaked records show dissidents and those who help them prominent among those under threat from NSO spyware

A leak of phone data suggests human rights lawyers, activists and dissidents across the globe were selected as possible candidates for invasive surveillance through their phones.

Their mobile phone numbers appeared in leaked records, indicating they were selected prior to possible surveillance targeting by governmental clients of the Israeli company NSO Group, which developed the Pegasus spyware.

The records were obtained by the nonprofit organisation Forbidden Stories and shared with a consortium of media outlets including the Guardian.

NSO has repeatedly said Pegasus, which can access all data on a target’s device as well as turn it into an audio or video recorder, is meant for use only against terrorists and serious criminals.

The selection of activists, dissidents and journalists by NSO clients paints a very different picture, though one that campaigners will say was grimly predictable given the tool has been sold to some of the world’s most repressive regimes.

The activists at risk from surveillance

In Azerbaijan, where the longtime dictator Ilham Aliyev tolerates little dissent, numerous activists appear in the data. Some found their personal correspondence or intimate photographs published online or on television.

The phone numbers of six dissidents or activists in the country whose private correspondence was featured on a muckraking television programme in 2019 are listed in the leaked records.

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