The Pegasus affair, published last Sunday by a consortium of 17 international media with the support of Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International teams, revealed that several countries acquired the Pegasus software, designed by the Israeli company NSO Group, to be able to spy on the phones of journalists, activists, lawyers, and opponents.
Mexico, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco have reportedly used the software, which can retrieve messages, photos, contacts, and even listen in on calls from a smartphone, to spy on several national and foreign figures.
In France, the news website Mediapart and the satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné decided to file a complaint against the Moroccan secret services, which allegedly infiltrated the phones of some of their journalists to spy on them. The Moroccan government denied reports on “infiltrating the phones of several national and foreign public figures and officials of international organisations through computer software.”
For her part, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, called on Monday for a better “regulation” of the transfer and surveillance technologies, while the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, called for verifying the whole affair, recalling that “freedom of the press is a core value of the European Union.”