Pegasus Spying on Journalists Sparks Probe in Paris
The Prosecutor's Office in Paris has launched an investigation into accusations of spying on journalists whose phones had been hacked by the Pegasus spyware program. The investigation will look into ten charges, according to the prosecutor's office.
On Tuesday, the Paris Public Prosecutor's Office said that an investigation had been launched into what media reports had revealed concerning spying on French journalists whose phones had been hacked. The Moroccan government disputed accusations of the Moroccan state having a hand in the espionage using the Pegasus program.
According to a statement, the prosecution claimed the probe contained ten accusations, including "violation of privacy," "interception of correspondence" using electronic software, and "creation of a criminal group."
In addition to a complaint filed by Le Canard Enchaine newspaper, the investigation follows a complaint filed by the Mediapart site alleging spying on its journalists.
The announcement by the Public Prosecutor's Office came after French newspaper Le Monde reported on Monday that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed had requested to spy on "Lebanese politicians and media, including Lebanese President Michel Aoun" through the Israeli company NSO's Pegasus program.
Pegasus can retrieve content from a smartphone, including messages exchanged on apps like WhatsApp and Signal, and can also open a microphone inside the device, according to the newspaper.
The Washington Post, in turn, revealed in January 2020 that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were using the Israeli Pegasus program to spy on journalists and activists in London and Qatar.
It's worth noting that the "Pegasus" spying program was developed by the Israeli business "NSO Group."