Sánchez joins the list of leaders who would have been spied on thanks to the spyware of the Israeli company NSO Group
Spanish President Pedro Sánchez joins the list of world leaders who would have been spied on thanks to Pegasus, the spyware from the Israeli company NSO Group. French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson or former Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, current President of the European Council, would also appear on this list of potential victims of espionage.
In July 2021, the Forbidden Stories consortium of journalists, with the technical support of Amnesty International, revealed that the phone numbers of 14 heads of state and government were selected by clients of the company NSO Group as possible targets of this spyware. .
In addition to Macron and Charles Michel, the mobile phones of King Mohammed VI of Morocco appeared on that list; of Barham Salih, from Iraq; Cyril Ramaphosa, from South Africa; Mostafa Madbouly, from Egypt; Imran Khan, from Pakistan; Saad Hariri, from Lebanon; and Ruhakana Rugunda, from Uganda, among others, according to The Washington Post. Mohamed VI would have been spied on by his own secret services, according to The Guardian.
In the French case, a Macron mobile phone would have been selected in 2019 as a person of interest by Morocco, an allied country, as revealed last summer by the newspaper Le Monde. His then Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and 14 French ministers would also appear on the list of potential victims. It has not been possible to verify that Macron’s cell phone ended up being spied on by the Moroccan services.
When the scandal broke, NSO Group denied that Macron was being spied on or appeared on a target list of his clients. And Morocco, for its part, denied being a client of this Israeli company or having used Pegasus.
On July 7, 2020, Pegasus software was used to infect a device connected to the network at 10 Downing Street, the official residence of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to research by the Citizen Lab organization reported by The magazine. New Yorkers. Citizen Lab suspects that the United Arab Emirates could probably be behind this attack.
On March 10, the European Parliament voted to create a new investigation commission to study the abuses of Pegasus. This commission, which held its first meeting on April 19, will examine, among other things, alleged breaches of EU law in the use of the surveillance program by Hungary and Poland, among other countries. It will also examine whether the Pegasus spyware was used for political purposes against activists, journalists, politicians and lawyers.
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