NewsMorocco threatens legal action over spyware allegations

Morocco threatens legal action over spyware allegations

-

Rabat, Morocco: Morocco’s government on Wednesday threatened legal action against anyone accusing it of using the Israeli spyware program Pegasus, and deplored what it called a “false, massive, malicious media campaign”.

A government statement “categorically denied the false and unfounded allegations” that the North African country’s intelligence services had used the software.

News outlets had reported on Sunday that the software, developed by Israeli firm NSO Group, had been used by governments to spy on activists, journalists, lawyers, and politicians around the world.

The bombshell claims were based on a leaked document containing 50,000 numbers of people identified as potential targets via Pegasus between 2016 and June 2021.

Numbers from 10 countries — Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — figured particularly often on the list.

On Monday, Morocco said it had “never acquired computer software to infiltrate communication devices”.

A day later, Radio France reported that the Moroccan king was on the list of 50,000 numbers, which also included “a large number” of Moroccan royals.

Wednesday’s government statement said Rabat would “opt for a judicial process, in Morocco and internationally, against any party taking up these spurious allegations”.

Pegasus is a highly invasive tool that can switch on a target’s phone camera and microphone, as well as access data on the device, effectively turning a phone into a pocket spy.

In some cases, the software can be installed without the need to trick a user into initiating a download.

French President Emmanuel Macron and members of his government are among the potential targets for the spyware supplied to several governments, the Forbidden Stories group that leaked the list said on Tuesday.

Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based media nonprofit, and Amnesty International got access to the leaked numbers, which they then shared with media organizations including The Washington Post, The Guardian, and Le Monde.

NSO has denied selling the software to authoritarian governments for the purposes of spying on dissenters and insists it is only intended for use as a counter-terror and anti-crime tool.

Debayan Paul
Debayan is a freelance digital reporter and Editor-in-chief of We The World Magazine. Contact: communications@wetheworldmagazine.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news

China’s Hou wins first weightlifting gold of Tokyo 2020

Tokyo, Japan: China's Hou Zhihui took the first weightlifting gold of Tokyo 2020 on Saturday as she dashed India's...

Tokyo Olympics rowing rescheduled over tropical storm

Tokyo, Japan: Tokyo Olympic organizers brought forward rowing events as a "protective measure" Saturday as a tropical storm heads...

Lebanon can’t handle next Covid wave: hospital chief

Beirut, Lebanon: Lebanon's deepening economic crisis has piled pressure on hospitals, leaving them ill-equipped to face any new wave...

India rescuers hunt for survivors as monsoon toll hits 76

Mumbai, India: Rescuers in India combed through mud and debris Saturday in a desperate search for survivors as the...

Empty streets as Hanoi goes into lockdown as virus cases soar

Hanoi, Vietnam: Vietnam locked down eight million people in Hanoi on Saturday, the latest attempt to curb a serious...

Mirabai Chanu fetches India Olympic silver in weightlifting

Kolkata, India: Mirabai Chanu won India's first Olympic medal, a silver medal in 49kg weightlifting with a total lift...

Must read

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you