Spanish PM, Defense Minister Reportedly Targeted With Pegasus Spyware

    Photo: times

    The Facts

    • The phones of Spain's PM Pedro Sánchez and Defence Minister María Margarita Robles Fernández were targeted with Pegasus spyware, Spanish authorities said on Monday.

    • Pegasus, developed by the Israeli firm NSO Group, can access a phone's contents such as contacts, text messages and images. It can also remotely activate a phone's microphone and camera for real-time surveillance.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    Spyware technology like Pegasus has been shown to target politicians, journalists and human rights defenders in a range of countries. These latest revelations show that governments can no longer take a laissez-faire approach to legislating against this type of surveillance.

    Narrative B

    While these revelations will no doubt pressure lawmakers to curtail the use of these types of spyware, in reality, governments will have a hard time weaning themselves off the technology given how ubiquitous it has become in criminal investigations, in addition to national security and terrorism cases.

    Narrative C

    NSO's Pegasus spyware has been acquired by authoritarian regimes around the world who've deployed it to silence political opponents, journalists, and human rights activists, yet Israel's Defense Ministry continues to grant export licenses for the technology. If Israel wishes to call itself a democracy, it must choose its partners accordingly.

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