19/07/2021

The Guardian

Leak reveals global abuse of cyber-surveillance powers

A coalition of news outlets have accused Israeli-based cyber surveillance company NSO Group of supplying software to foreign governments, which is used to surveil journalists, human rights activists and lawyers around the world. The allegations focused on NSO's Pegasus, a surveillance application the coalition claims was used to attempt hacks on smartphones belonging to 37 journalists in several countries. NSO refuted the claims, saying they had "no factual basis" and they may be grounds for legal action. The Guardian reveals FT editor among 180 journalists identified by spyware software.

UPDATE: 200721

  • United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called recent revelations of surveillance through NSO Group's Pegasus software "extremely alarming" and wanted laws written to regulate the use of such spyware. Bachelet said the incident showed "the urgent need to better regulate the sale, transfer and use of surveillance technologies and ensure strict oversight and authorisation."
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation discussed how the Pegasus hacks should be a wake-up call as it relates to regulating spyware on a global scale with Stanford University's Cyber Policy Center International Policy Director Marietje Schaake. 
  • The Guardian reports US-Belgian citizen and Rwandan activist Carine Kanimba is among those being surveilled using Pegasus.
  • Vice reports that an Amazon Web Services spokesperson said it has shut down relevant infrastructure and accounts linked to NSO Group. An Amnesty International investigation found Amazon’s CloudFront infrastructure was used in deployments of NSO’s software.

UPDATE: 220721

  • The Register reveals that NSO Group is no longer responding to inquiries about the misuse of its software.
  • Privacy International publishes a report into NSO Group's corporate structure.
  • The Guardian reveals Israel is to examine spyware export rules.
  • The Guardian looks into why reporters have never been more vulnerable.

UPDATE: 260721

  • The Guardian investigates how NSO software became the company who can spy on the world
  • Privacy International looks for a way forward on taming surveillance technology.
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cyber surveillance, digital eye

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