RSF Mulls Legal Action Over 'Appalling' Israeli Spyware Scandal

RSF Mulls Legal Action Over 'Appalling' Israeli Spyware Scandal

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 20th July, 2021) Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is considering legal action against Israeli cyberintelligence firm NSO after a journalistic investigation found that its Pegasus software has been used to spy on thousands of politicians, businesspeople and journalists worldwide, Secretary General Christophe Deloire said on Monday.

The investigation, which was carried out by a consortium of media outlets and released on Sunday, exposed a list of more than 50,000 phone numbers of prominent individuals worldwide targeted for surveillance by state-linked clients of the Israeli firm.

"We will do everything to ensure that #NSO is punished for the crimes it has committed and the tragedies it has made possible. The justice systems in democratic countries must address this extremely serious matter, establish the facts and punish those responsible. [RSF] is currently deciding on the legal action it will take in one or more countries," Deloire said on Twitter.

He urged the targeted journalists and media to reach out to RSF to prospectively join the legal action.

"It's appalling! The revelations about the use of the #Pegasus spyware inspire shock and revulsion," the RSF chief wrote.

Deloire recalled that RSF sounded the alarm about the Pegasus spyware back in 2017, when it was used to spy on journalists in Mexico, and branded NSO a "digital predator" in 2020.

NSO's Pegasus spyware has been under fire several times in the past. Various rights organizations, such as Amnesty International and Citizen Lab, have exposed the ways in which Pegasus was used to invade the privacy of lawful individuals, disproving the claim of its creators at NSO that it was only sold to governments to tackle terrorists and criminals. In 2019, WhatsApp sued NSO, saying that Pegasus was used to hack users' encrypted chats, and RSF joined the suit.