Governments are spying on their people, according to an exposé.
According to the report by The Guardian, a spy software suite known as Pegasus from Israeli surveillance company NSO Group is being misused by multiple governments to monitor individuals. Azerbaijan, Mexico, India, and the United Arab Emirates are some of the countries whose governments are allegedly misusing Pegasus.
While NSO Group maintains that its Pegasus software is intended to target criminals and terrorists only, an investigation conducted by The Guardian and other media organizations has uncovered a massive data leak that contains 50,000 phone numbers belonging to various people of interest. These include journalists, government officials, and leaders of business, academic or religious institutions.
Considered as malware, Pegasus is capable of infecting iPhones and Android smartphones and gives the operator access to messages, photos, and emails. It can even record phone calls and activate the microphone remotely.
The Guardian and the other organizations involved in the investigation intend to reveal and alert the individuals whose phone numbers are found in the data leak. While being included in the list does not necessarily mean the owner’s phone is infected with Pegasus, it still suggests the person has been part of a surveillance operation.