This article should serve to remind us that is not just extremist political groups and criminals who engage in violence and terrorism,, but that some times government engage in such tactics to further their own policies and control.
A New ‘Digital Violence’ Platform Maps Dozens of Victims of NSO Group’s Spyware
by Zack Whittaker
July 3, 2021
https://techcrunch.com/2021/07/03/digit ... p-spyware/
(TechCrunch) For the first time, researchers have mapped all the known targets, including journalists, activists, and human rights defenders, whose phones were hacked by Pegasus, a spyware developed by NSO Group.
Forensic Architecture, an academic unit at Goldsmiths, University of London that investigates human rights abuses, scoured dozens of reports from human rights groups, carried out open-source research and interviewed dozens of the victims themselves to reveal over a thousand data points, including device infections, which show relations and patterns between digital surveillance carried out by NSO’s government customers, and the real-world intimidation, harassment and violence that the victims are also subject to.
By mapping out these data points on a bespoke platform, the researchers can show how nation-states, which use Pegasus to spy on their victims, also often target other victims in their networks and are entangled with assaults, arrests, and disinformation campaigns against the targets but also their families, friends, and colleagues.
Although the thousand-plus data points only present a portion of the overall use of Pegasus by governments, the project aims to provide researchers and investigators the tools and data of NSO’s activities worldwide, which the spyware maker goes to great lengths to keep out of the public eye.
Israel-based NSO Group develops Pegasus, a spyware that allows its government customers near-unfettered access to a victim’s device, including their personal data and their location. NSO has repeatedly declined to name its customers but reportedly has government contracts in at least 45 countries, said to include Rwanda, Israel, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates — all of which have been accused of human rights abuses — as well as Western nations, like Spain.