While the revelations about the spy software Pegasus multiply, the NGO Amnesty International denounces this Saturday “a global human rights crisis” and calls for a moratorium on the sale and use of surveillance technologies.
The NGO warns in a statement on “the devastating effects on human rights everywhere in the world of an unregulated cybersurveillance sector”.
“A dangerous sector which has operated for too long at the limit of legality”
The revelations of the Pegasus project “clearly show the dangers and harm to which unlawfully targeted people are exposed,” said Agnès Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
Israeli company NSO, which designed the software, “is just one company. This is a dangerous sector which has operated for too long at the limit of legality, ”Amnesty said.
“It is absolutely urgent that the regulation of the cybersurveillance sector (…) and the control of this very opaque sector be strengthened”, estimates the NGO.
An immediate moratorium
Amnesty International calls for a moratorium to be “immediately put in place on the export, sale, transfer and use of surveillance technologies until a regulatory framework respectful of human rights is put in place”.
“The fact that senior politicians have themselves been caught in the net of surveillance technologies will, hopefully, finally alert states around the world to the urgent need to respond by regulating this sector,” writes the NGO.
“If world leaders are targeted in this way, it further confirms that the rights of all people, including those of human rights activists, journalists and lawyers, are at risk. Amnesty stresses.
Targeted journalists, politicians and activists
Introduced in a smartphone, the Pegasus software allows you to retrieve messages, photos, contacts, and remotely activate the microphones.
The organizations Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International obtained a list of 50,000 phone numbers, selected by NSO clients since 2016 for potential surveillance, and shared it with a consortium of 17 media outlets that revealed its existence on Sunday.
The list of potential targets includes the numbers of at least 180 journalists, 600 politicians, 85 human rights activists or 65 business leaders, according to the analysis of the consortium – which has located many in Morocco. , Saudi Arabia and Mexico.
The world and Radio France, members of the consortium, revealed that a phone line from Emmanuel Macron was among the “numbers selected by a Moroccan state security service (…) for potential piracy”.