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20 Jul 2021

Reporters Without Borders (RSF)

After Pegasus revelations, RSF & two Moroccan-French journalists file complaint in Paris

In the wake of yesterday’s revelations about the Pegasus spyware, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and two journalists with French and Moroccan dual nationality, Omar Brouksy and Maâti Monjib, filed a joint complaint with prosecutors in Paris today calling on them to “identify those responsible, and their accomplices,” for targeted harassment of the journalists.

The complaint does not name NSO Group, the Israeli company that makes Pegasus, but it targets the company and was filed in response to yesterday’s revelations that Pegasus has been used to spy on at least 180 journalists in 20 countries, including 30 in France.

Drafted by RSF lawyers William Bourdon and Vincent Brengarth, the complaint cites invasion of privacy (article 216-1 of the French penal code), violation of the secrecy of correspondence (article 226-15), fraudulent collection of personal data (article 226- 18), fraudulent data introduction and extraction and access to automated data systems (articles 323-1 and 3, and 462-2), and undue interference with the freedom of expression and breach of the confidentiality of sources (article 431-1).

This complaint is the first in a series that RSF intends to file in several countries together with journalists who were directly targeted.