Chinanews, July 20th, a comprehensive report, recently, a list of 50,000 mobile phone numbers related to Israel's NSO group was exposed, allowing a spyware that can be used to monitor the whereabouts of people from all walks of life surfaced.

At the same time, it has raised concerns in the international community that surveillance technology may be used improperly to illegally violate human rights, and many parties strongly condemn this.

Image source: Screenshot of the British "Guardian" report

Extract photos, call recordings,

Who is on the "strongest spyware" monitoring list?

  On July 18, local time, 17 media outlets including the Washington Post, the Guardian and Le Monde jointly disclosed that a piece of spyware called Pegasus had at least 50 percent worldwide Many countries are used to monitor human rights activists, journalists and lawyers.

The number of people involved may be as high as 50,000.

  "Pegasus" was developed by NSO Group, a network technology company headquartered in Tel Aviv, Israel. It can invade Apple and Android operating systems, extract text messages, photos and emails, record calls, and start remotely without the user’s knowledge. The microphone and camera of the mobile phone.

  It is not clear how many of these people’s phones have actually been compromised.

At present, the identities of more than 1,000 number owners have been confirmed, including politicians, heads of state, corporate presidents, activists, members of many Arab royal families, and more than 180 people from CNN and The New York Times And reporters from media such as Al Jazeera.

  The survey shows that NSO’s customers are concentrated in at least 10 countries, including Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Rwanda, as well as Saudi Arabia, Hungary, India and the United Arab Emirates.

  According to the British "Guardian", "Pegasus" may be the "strongest spyware" developed by private companies so far. It can invade the target mobile phone without having to click on the malicious link through the mobile phone holder. Become a "24-hour monitoring device".

  The head of the Security Laboratory of the Ministry of Science and Technology of Amnesty International said: "Once the'Pegasus' invades the mobile phone, the hacker will be able to obtain the mobile phone administrator authority and can do more than the mobile phone holder.

NSO Group is located in an office building in Israel.

Software is "misused"?

NSO investigates every allegation

  NSO Group stated that it will investigate the abuse of "Pegasus" spyware by foreign government customers.

NSO Group CEO Shalev Julio said: "Every allegation of abuse of the system makes me very worried."

  He said, "This violates our trust in our customers. We are investigating every allegation, and if we find that something is true, we will take strong action."

  The NSO Group seriously questioned the reliability and authenticity of these sources of information, and accused the report of being "full of false assumptions and unproven theories."

  In the statement, the NSO Group stated that the "Pegasus" software is specifically used to fight criminals and terrorists. They will only sell the "Pegasus" software to military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies with good human rights records.

  The company's customers include 60 intelligence, military and law enforcement agencies in more than 40 countries, but the statement refused to disclose the names of specific countries and agencies.

  The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that only two weeks ago, NSO published its first "transparency report" detailing human rights policies and commitments, but Amnesty International criticized the 32-page document as "sales promotion."

  The analysis pointed out that the latest allegations will further damage the company's image, but it may not be financially harmful.

There are only a few companies on the market that can produce this type of intrusive spyware sold by NSO, and in the absence of large-scale supervision, it is clear that their market will remain active.

  The Israeli liberal party Merez Party stated on the 19th that it will ask the Ministry of Defense about the export situation of Israeli spyware.

The leader of the party and the Minister of Health Nizan Horowitz said that he will meet with Minister of Defense Benny Gantz on the 22nd to discuss the issue of the export of NSO authorized by the Ministry of Defense, but the Ministry of Defense that issued the license for these exports did not immediately publish comment.

Data map

Many countries deny it is related to "Pegasus"

The United Nations calls for increased monitoring of network activities

  European Commission President Von der Lein emphasized that she refused to use Israel's "Pegasus Project" to monitor the actions of activists and journalists.

She said that the matter has not been confirmed and it is still only an allegation.

She added, "But if this happens, it is unacceptable and cannot be accepted."

  The Hungarian government denies that the country’s intelligence agencies use the “Pegasus” program to monitor individuals.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Cialto said, “The (intelligence service) director-general told me that there is no cooperation with the Israeli intelligence service in this regard.”

  The Indian government also denies that it is related to the "Pegasus" software, and has repeatedly emphasized that there is no unauthorized interception by government departments. The government has always had a mechanism to intercept communications, and the central government and state governments will supervise in accordance with national interests. .

  On the other hand, the Moroccan government on the 19th condemned the “false allegations” that its security department used the “Project Pegasus” to monitor the phone calls of journalists, and expressed its willingness to provide “true and scientific” evidence.

The Moroccan government also emphasized that “information software has never been obtained to infiltrate communication equipment, and public authorities have not taken such actions.”

  U.N. Secretary-General’s Deputy Spokesperson Hacker said that the United Nations has long called for greater monitoring of online activities to avoid human rights violations.

Hacker said, "The United Nations has always called for strengthening the supervision of network activities to ensure that the rights of activists, journalists and other individuals are not violated. The United Nations Secretariat will also take all possible necessary measures to ensure the security of the United Nations communications system. "

  The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Bachelet also issued a statement expressing his extreme shock at the above incident, saying that he "seems to confirm some of the most serious concerns about the possible improper use of surveillance technology for illegal human rights violations."

  Bachelet reminded governments that “surveillance methods can only be used for legitimate purposes under very limited circumstances and must comply with the principles of necessity and appropriateness.”

  Bachelet also called on the government to immediately stop using surveillance technology to violate human rights and take concrete actions to avoid similar violations of privacy by monitoring the sales, use, and export of surveillance technology.