A consortium of 17 media organizations around the world claimed governments around the world were spying on journalists and activists. According to the report released on Sunday, governments in many countries, including India, have spied on around 180 journalists, human rights activists and activists. For this, the Pegasus hacking software from the Israeli company NSO Group was used. In this report, at least 38 people are said to have spied on in India.
Name of these journalists from India included
The Guardian studied data from spyware Pegasus and claimed that the list includes the names of Siddharth Varadarajan, co-founder of news site The Wire, and senior journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta. Thakurta’s phone was hacked in 2018 while investigating how Narendra Modi’s “Hindu nationalist government” was using Facebook to spread disinformation online among Indians.
What does Pegasus Software do?
Pegasus is a malware that hijacks iPhone and Android devices. With this, the person who sends the malware can even see the messages, photos and emails present in that phone. Not only that, this software can also record the incoming calls on this phone. With this software, the phone’s microphone can be activated secretly.
How did media organizations get this data?
In fact, this data was first viewed by Paris-based media NGOs Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International in the initially leaked list. It was then shared with other media organizations as part of a reporting consortium. The leaked data lists more than 50,000 phone numbers. It is believed that since 2016, NSO had been spying on these people through its Pegasus software.