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DATE PUBLISHED: 1402/07/14 - 03:43:4
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European firms sold powerful spyware to repressive regimes: media


A photographic illustration shows a mobile phone near the NSO Group company logo.

A group of investigative media says European companies have supplied repressive regimes with powerful spyware for more than a decade.

A year-long investigation conducted by European Investigative Collaborations (EIC) says European firms "supplied dictators cyber-surveillance tools for more than a decade."

"During the last decade the Western world has encouraged and applauded the digital tools that empower democracy activism in countries under authoritarian regimes," it said.

At the same time, the EIC said, the European firms "have supplied such authoritarian regimes the digital back doors to turn any digital device into powerful spying tools against dissenters."

The findings of the investigation run by 15 media are based on hundreds of confidential documents obtained by French site Mediapart and Germanyís Der Spiegel, they said.

According to Mediapart, French company Nexa had sold Predator software to "at least three autocracies: Egypt, Vietnam and Madagascar".

Mediapart said the spyware had also been sold to Qatar, Congo Brazzaville, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan "under the complacent eyes of the French secret services."

Human rights organization Amnesty International, which analyzed the documents, said that "highly invasive surveillance products are being traded on a near industrial scale and are free to operate in the shadows without oversight or any genuine accountability."

The recent revelations follow a 2021 scandal around Pegasus, a spyware sold by Israeli company NSO Group, with several media reporting that it had been used to illegally spy on more than 50,000 individuals.

Pegasus can let external parties access an infected device, enabling them to view photos, videos, e-mail, and text messages, even if they are sent through applications that offer encrypted communication.

It can also record conversations made on or near a device, tap its cameras, and determine the userís location.

Many European governments have also used this controversial software to suppress dissidents, journalists, and political opponents around the world.

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/27502


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