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Pegasus technology banned by EU

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Israeli cyber firm NSO Group is seen at one of its branches in the Arava Desert, southern Israel July 22, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/

On Tuesday, the European Union’s data protection authority urged for the infamous spyware tool Pegasus, produced by the Israeli-based NSO Group, to be banned.

The news: According to the EDPS, Pegasus’ use might result in an “unprecedented level of intrusiveness, capable of interfering with the most sensitive parts of our daily life.”

  • Pegasus has been accused of being utilised by certain foreign client governments to spy on human rights activists, journalists, and politicians, putting Israel under international criticism.
  • According to NSO, it is unable to confirm or deny any existing or potential Pegasus customers. It claims it neither operates nor is engaged in the operation of the system once it is sold to governmental customers.
  • “A ban on the development and the deployment of spyware with the capability of Pegasus in the EU would be the most effective option to protect our fundamental rights and freedoms”, the EDPS said.
  • “At the centre of debate on tools like Pegasus should not only be the use of the technology, but the importance we attribute to the right to privacy.”
  • According to a report released last year by 17 media organisations led by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden Stories, the spyware was used in attempted and successful hacks of journalists, government officials, and human rights activists’ smartphones on a global scale.
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