WhatsApp

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CPJ joins letters urging U.S. government to hold NSO Group accountable on spyware

The Committee to Protect Journalists joined human rights and press freedom organizations in separate actions in August urging the United States government to hold NSO Group accountable for providing Pegasus spyware to governments that have used the tool to secretly surveil journalists around the world. In a joint letter to Acting Solicitor General Brian Fletcher…

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Sierra Leone journalist Sorie Saio Sesay detained for 6 days

Abuja, June 14, 2022 – Authorities in Sierra Leone should drop their investigation into journalist Sorie Saio Sesay, return his mobile phone, and allow him to work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalist said Tuesday. On May 26, police officers in the northwestern town of Kamakwie arrested Sesay, a reporter with the privately owned Okentuhun…

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Russia-Ukraine watch

How the war is affecting press freedom in the region Updated June 16, 2022 Russia’s February 24 full-scale invasion of Ukraine marked a sharp escalation in threats to press freedom in the region and beyond. Journalists in Ukraine have been killed covering the war, while many of their Russian counterparts have fled or faced persecution….

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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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Hong Kong cites encrypted communications with journalists to deny bail to former lawmaker

Taipei, May 28, 2021 – The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned Hong Kong authorities’ decision to cite communications with foreign journalists as a reason to deny bail to former pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo. The Hong Kong High Court cited Mo’s interviews and texts with reporters from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times,…

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A man reads at a stand of the Israeli technology firm NSO Group at the annual European Police Congress in Berlin, Germany, February 4, 2020. WhatsApp has alleged the group's technology enabled the remote surveillance of members of civil society via their phones, with several Indian journalists among the targets. (Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke)

After WhatsApp spyware allegations, Indian journalists demand government transparency

In the summer of 2019, Saroj Giri was preparing a lecture on the panopticon—an 18th century system to surveil an entire prison from a single viewpoint—when a message lit up his phone. It was from WhatsApp, warning Giri that someone had tried to hack the popular messaging app to spy on his cell phone remotely.

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An AFP fact-checking team journalist works at Agence France-Presse Bureau in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 27, 2018. On February 11, 2020, Brazilian journalist Patrícia Campos Mello faced online harassment campaign after allegations made during a congressional hearing on fake news. (AFP/Maruo Pimentel)

Brazilian journalist Patrícia Campos Mello faces online harassment campaign

Rio de Janeiro, February 12, 2020 — The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned the online harassment campaign against Brazilian journalist Patrícia Campos Mello.

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An Israeli woman uses her iPhone in front of the building housing the Israeli NSO group, on August 28, 2016, in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv. NSO Group has been accused of facilitating surveillance of journalists through sales of its Pegasus spyware. (AFP/Jack Guez)

CPJ Safety Advisory: Journalist targets of Pegasus spyware

Pegasus is a spyware created for mobile devices which transforms a cellphone into a mobile surveillance station. Researchers have documented it being used to spy on journalists. This raises significant implications for journalists’ own security and that of their sources.

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The logo of the Israeli NSO Group company is shown on a building where they had offices in Herzliya, Israel. WhatsApp has accused NSO Group of selling technology to help governments spy on WhatsApp users, including journalists. (AP/Daniella Cheslow)

Indian journalists reported among targets of alleged NSO Group WhatsApp hack

New York, October 31, 2019—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by news reports that several journalists in India have been notified that they were among the targets of suspicious WhatsApp contact that may have been used to install advanced surveillance technology on their phones. Facebook-owned WhatsApp this week said it filed a lawsuit accusing…

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A man reads headlines of a daily newspaper on March 27, 2018, in Freetown. A freelance journalist was charged with criminal defamation in Sierra Leone in September 2019. (AFP/Issouf Sanogo)

Sierra Leone journalist Mahmud Tim Kargbo charged with criminal defamation

Mahmud Tim Kargbo, a freelance reporter in Sierra Leone, was arrested and detained twice in September 2019 after Miatta Samba, an appeals court judge, lodged a complaint with the police against him for a report published September 9, 2019, on his Facebook page and in a WhatsApp group that criticized Samba’s decision to grant bail…

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