Israeli spyware is a threat to all freedoms everywhere | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Israeli spyware is a threat to all freedoms everywhere

In 1974, Richard Nixon was impeached after being caught bugging his opponents at the Watergate Hotel in one of the twentieth century's most explosive scandals. In comparison, the Pegasus Project — a far-reaching and shocking exposé by seventeen media outlets and Amnesty International — is a thermonuclear warhead to Nixon's firecracker.

Pegasus is a product of an Israeli company, the NSO Group. Heads of state and opposition leaders from France to South Africa to Pakistan have the Pegasus spyware on their phones. As well as politicians, the list of 50,000 Pegasus targets provided by Amnesty include human rights defenders, activists and journalists. NSO Group's clients range from known human rights abusers to states that regard themselves as liberal democracies.

Exploiting vulnerabilities notably in Apple iPhone's popular iMessage app, the Pegasus spyware is deployed when a link is opened, usually inadvertently. Once Pegasus infects a phone, it is undetectable and can access messages, social media accounts, the microphone to listen in on conversations and the camera to film. It is also reported to be able to access location services and monitor your movements with pinpoint accuracy. In short, Pegasus turns the devices we rely on daily into weapons monitoring us 24/7 on behalf of whoever can pay for it.