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In Mexico, some 15,000 politicians, trade unionists, and reporters were monitored using Pegasus spyware during the Enrique Peña Nieto administration (2012-2018).
The French-based collaborative journalism network Forbidden Stories revealed that hundreds of journalists, politicians, and activists around the world were investigated using Pegasus spyware, which the Israeli company NSO Group only sells to governments.
Working in coordination with 17 outlets and organizations, Forbidden Stories conducted a forensic investigation of some 50,000 phone numbers intercepted by the software.
“Pegasus has extensive capabilities: the spyware can be installed remotely on a smartphone without requiring any action from its owner. Once installed, it allows clients to take complete control of the device, including accessing messages from encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp and Signal, and turning on the microphone and camera,” Forbidden Stories explained.
“The leaked data suggests that the spyware is used much more carelessly than advertised… the Israeli company stressed that Pegasus was ‘not a mass surveillance technology’ and was ‘used only where there was a legitimate law enforcement or intelligence-driven reason.’ Yet, more than 10,000 phone numbers were selected for surveillance… over a two-year period,” it pointed out.
1st Intifada biggest scandal was the suicide of Palestinian kids. Some left harrowing letters exposing an Israeli Secret Service blackmail scheme, wherein ISS threatened to make public kids’ intimate relationships/nude pictures, UNLESS they agreed to become spies for Israel! https://t.co/qZAqtokl2q
Forbidden Stories also found that the NSO Group sold its product to governments in countries such as Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. In this country, for example, spyware was used for surveillance of 85 human rights activists, 189 journalists, and two women close to journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in 2018.
Using Israeli software, governments have also spied on journalists from CNN, AP, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, Financial Times, and Al Jazeera.
In Mexico, some 15,000 politicians, trade unionists and reporters were monitored using Pegasus during the Enrique Peña Nieto administration (2012-2018).