Spyware

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US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan must advocate for press freedom in meetings with Saudi Arabia and UAE

New York, September 27, 2021 – U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan should advocate for an end to press freedom violations in Yemen and throughout the Persian Gulf region as he meets with leaders from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Sullivan is traveling to the region…

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‘There is no private life’: Three Togolese journalists react to being selected for spyware surveillance

When Komlanvi Ketohou fled Togo in early 2021, he left behind his home, his family, and his cell phone that the gendarmerie seized when they arrested and detained him over a report published by his newspaper, L’Independant Express. In July, Ketohou, who goes by Carlos, learned that the phone number connected to the device they…

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David Kaye on the Pegasus Project and why surveillance reform should reach beyond NSO Group and Israel

In 2020, then-United Nations special rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression David Kaye pressed Israeli firm NSO Group in a public letter for details about its human rights due diligence and assertions that Saudi Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi had not been targeted with its Pegasus spyware before his brutal 2018 murder. The group…

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Pegasus Project revelations show added layer of risk for corruption reporters

Exposing those who abuse power for personal gain is a dangerous activity. Nearly 300 journalists killed for their work since CPJ started keeping records in 1992 covered corruption, either as their primary beat, or one of several. The risk was reaffirmed this month with the release of the Pegasus Project, collaborative reporting by 17 global…

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CPJ joins call for moratorium on surveillance technology targeting journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists this week joined more than 150 human rights groups and independent experts in calling on states to implement an immediate moratorium on the sale, transfer, and use of surveillance technology following revelations that NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware has been used to spy on journalists around the world. The Pegasus Project,…

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WhatsApp Head Will Cathcart: The spyware industry is undermining freedom

Will Cathcart is the chief executive of WhatsApp, the downloadable messaging app used by millions around the world as a primary means of communication. WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption, meaning messages shared via the platform are, under normal circumstances, highly secure—a feature that has made it attractive for journalists, human rights defenders, and other vulnerable users,…

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Azerbaijani journalist Sevinj Vagifgizi was ‘astonished’ to learn of Pegasus spyware on phone

Azerbaijani authorities have long had a firm grip on the media by imprisoning, harassing, and persecuting journalists both at home and abroad as well as blocking their websites. Now authorities are alleged to have used a new tool in their quest to muzzle independent reporting: spyware. Several Azerbaijani journalists have been named in the collaborative…

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Investigative reporter Bradley Hope: Pegasus spyware revelations a ‘wake-up call for journalists’

Bradley Hope was in Abu Dhabi in 2009, the year the BlackBerry devices overheated. “If you put it next to your face it would almost burn,” he told CPJ in a phone interview. The BBC that year reported that a UAE telecom company had prompted local BlackBerry owners to install a rogue surveillance update disguised…

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MEDIA ADVISORY: CPJ resources and insights for journalists reporting on Pegasus Project

New York, July 19, 2021 – The Committee to Protect Journalists is closely monitoring the Pegasus Project consortium’s new reporting showing that at least 180 journalists were possible targets of Pegasus spyware. Earlier this year, CPJ launched a campaign highlighting the threats that spyware poses to press freedom, and today reiterated a call for companies…

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Spyware reform critical as at least 180 journalists revealed as potential Pegasus targets

New York, July 19, 2021 – In response to reports that at least 180 journalists were identified by investigative reporters as possible targets of Pegasus spyware, produced by the Israeli company NSO Group, the Committee to Protect Journalists reaffirmed its call for immediate action by governments and companies around the world to stem abuse of…

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