Spotlight detailed report on the Pegasus Project – an investigation by a consortium of global media outlets, including the Guardian, Washington Post, Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Le Monde. The Pegasus Project has revealed that Israeli government clients around the world have been using Pegasus hacking software to target heads of state, including SA President Cyril Ramaphosa, President Emmanuel Macron of France and Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan. It’s also been used to target human rights activists, journalists and lawyers, along with their family, friends and associates. Amongst the 50,000 people on the leaked list were..

·       The wife of the murdered Journalist, Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi.

·       Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, the ex-wife of Dubai’s emir, Sheikh Mohammed.

·       Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed’s daughter, Princess Latifa, who fled to the United Arab Emirates in 2018 but was later captured and returned.

·       Moroccan journalist Omar Radi, who was recently sentenced to 6yrs in prison after Moroccan authorities had hacked his phone using Pegasus spyware. Radi had been reporting on government corruption and human rights abuses for years.

·       Mexican journalist, Cecilio Pineda Birto, who was shot dead hours after reporting on corruption.

·       A woman who reported that she had been sexually harassed by the sitting Chief Justice of India.

The BBC, who were not part of the consortium, picked up the story days later and somehow managed to get a statement from the NSO group (something none of the other global media outlets were able to do) in which the NSO Group, who created Pegasus, attempted to blame their customers and argued that it’s like.. “criticising a car manufacturer when a drunk driver crashes”. Perhaps a better analogy might be that it’s a bit like filing the serial number off a gun and then selling that gun to someone who you already know to be a serial killer.



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