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19 Jul 2021

Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders condemns targeting of journalists revealed by Pegasus project; announces intention to bring legal action against perpetrators

Shocked by the revelations by a consortium of media outlets that nearly 200 journalists in 20 countries were targeted for surveillance by clients of NSO Group, the Israeli company that sells the Pegasus spyware, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announces its intention to bring legal action against those responsible for this mass surveillance.

“This is appalling,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “The revelations about the use of the Pegasus spyware inspire shock and revulsion, given the extent of the surveillance and targeting of journalists. No, NSO Group does not contribute to ‘global security and stability,’ contrary to what the company claims. Pegasus is a vile and loathsome tool, invented by digital mercenaries and prized by ‘press freedom predators’ for use in persecuting journalists.”

“In 2020, we branded NSO Group as a ‘digital predator’ and contributed to WhatsApp’s lawsuit against the Israeli company in the United States. We will do everything to ensure that NSO Group is punished for the crimes it has committed and the tragedies it has made possible. The justice systems in democratic countries must address this extremely serious matter, establish the facts and punish those responsible. RSF is currently deciding on the legal action it will take in one or more countries. We urge targeted journalists and media to contact us in order to join in an appropriate legal response to the revelations about the Pegasus spyware.”