India Continues to Use Pegasus Spyware to Target Journalists: Amnesty
Amnesty International’s Security Lab first observed indications of renewed Pegasus spyware threats towards individuals in India during a regular technical monitoring exercise.
Human rights organization Amnesty International, in partnership with The Washington Post, has revealed new details about the continued use of NSO Group’s highly invasive spyware Pegasus to target journalists in India.
Forensic investigations by Amnesty International’s Security Lab confirmed that Siddharth Varadarajan, Founding Editor of The Wire, and Anand Mangnale, the South Asia Editor at The Organised Crime and Corruption Report Project (OCCRP), were among the journalists recently targeted with Pegasus spyware on their iPhones, with the latest identified case occurring in October 2023.
In a statement issued on December 28, Amnesty says the use of Pegasus, a type of highly invasive spyware, developed by Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group, comes amid an unprecedented crackdown by the Indian authorities on freedom of peaceful expression and assembly, which has had a chilling impact on civil society organizations, journalists, and activists.
“Our latest findings show that increasingly, journalists in India face the threat of unlawful surveillance simply for doing their jobs, alongside other tools of repression including imprisonment under draconian laws, smear campaigns, harassment, and intimidation,” said Donncha Ó Cearbhaill, Head of Amnesty International’s Security Lab.
“Despite repeated revelations, there has been a shameful lack of accountability about the use of Pegasus spyware in India which only intensifies the sense of impunity over these human rights violations.”
Amnesty International’s Security Lab first observed indications of renewed Pegasus spyware threats towards individuals in India during a regular technical monitoring exercise in June 2023, a number of months after media reported that the Indian government was seeking to procure a new commercial spyware system.
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