German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday called for more restrictions on the sale of “Pegasus” type spyware, especially used to spy on journalists and human rights defenders, according to recent revelations.
“It is important” that such software “does not end up in the wrong hands” and “that software should not be sold to countries where the monitoring of operations [d’écoute] justice is perhaps not guaranteed, ”she said at a press conference in Berlin.
The organizations Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International obtained a list of 50,000 phone numbers, selected by clients of Israeli cybersecurity giant NSO since 2016 for potential monitoring, and shared it with a consortium of 17 media outlets who revealed their existence Sunday.
The revelations prompted the NGO Reporters Without Borders to call for a moratorium on these sales. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, also called on Monday for better “regulation” of transfer and surveillance technologies, seeing an “urgent need” to ensure “strict control and authorization “.
French President Emmanuel Macron, King of Morocco Mohammed VI, and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan are on Pegasus’ list of potential targets, as are more than 180 journalists around the world who have allegedly been spied on by various States that had access to this spyware. Introduced in a smartphone, it allows you to retrieve messages, photos, contacts, and to activate microphones remotely.