Massive data leak uncovers human rights abuses using Israeli tech - report

Monday - 19/07/2021 10:17
The leak contains a list of over 50,000 phone numbers that the report estimated were identified as “people of interest” by clients of Israeli spyware company NSO Group since 2016.
SECURITY SURVEILLANCE monitors. Privacy advocates argue that even if the official transfer of data does not identify individuals, anyone who wants to abuse the information to invade an individual’s privacy can do so with ease (photo credit: KAI P
SECURITY SURVEILLANCE monitors. Privacy advocates argue that even if the official transfer of data does not identify individuals, anyone who wants to abuse the information to invade an individual’s privacy can do so with ease (photo credit: KAI P

Israeli cyber company NSO was in the eye of the storm Monday after a report was published  suggesting “widespread and continuing abuse” of  its hacking spyware, Pegasus, by authoritarian governments around the world, and used to hack 37 smartphones of journalists, government officials and human rights activists around the world.
One of the organizations, The Washington Post , said the Pegasus spyware licensed by Israel-based NSO Group also was used to target phones belonging to two women close to Jamal Khashoggi, a Post columnist murdered at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in 2018, before and after his death.

The Guardian another of the media outlets, said the investigation suggested “widespread and continuing abuse” of NSO’s hacking software, described as malware that infects smartphones to enable the extraction of messages, photos and emails; record calls; and secretly activate microphones
 “While the company highlights its successes in blocking ISIS terror attacks and cracking drug and pornography rings in Europe, Africa and Oceania, critics have long said its software has also been used to abuse human rights in Mexico, Morocco and elsewhere,” the report stated.
Using spyware against journalists would be completely unacceptable, the head of the European Commission said on Monday, after the report was published.
“What we could read so far, and this has to be verified, but if it is the case, it is completely unacceptable. Against any kind of rules we have in the European Union,” Ursula von der Leyen said during a visit to Prague.

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 Keywords: Israel

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