At least 65 Catalan politicians and activists have been targeted by Pegasus and Candiru spyware, an investigation by the University of Toronto Research Lab uncovered today.
The targets included Pere Aragonès, President of the Catalan government, along with members of the European Parliament, Catalan lawmakers, lawyers, activists and their family members.
“The operation of mass espionage against Catalan independence is an unjust shame. An extremely serious attack on fundamental rights and democracy.” Aragones tweeted.
Although the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab “does not unequivocally attribute the operations to any particular entity,” the researchers conclude that “strong circumstantial evidence points to a connection with Spanish authorities.”
Tensions between Madrid and Barcelona have been running high since Catalonia tried to declare independence after a referendum in 2017, which the Spanish Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional. The failed independence push led to the then Catalan President Carles Puigdemont going into exile in Belgium.
Pegasus spyware, developed by Israeli security firm NSO Group, has been used by a variety of countries to spy on politicians, journalists and activists inside and outside the EU. journalists uncovered last July that the software is likely to be used by governments around the world to keep tabs on opponents.
“The Spanish government needs to clarify whether or not it is a customer of NSO Group. It must also conduct a thorough, independent investigation into the use of Pegasus spyware against the Catalans identified in this investigation,” said Likhita Banerji of human rights NGO Amnesty International, which reviewed Citizen Lab’s research.
https://www.politico.eu/article/pegasus-spyware-targets-top-catalan-politicians-and-activists/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Pegasus spyware targets Catalan leaders and activists – POLITICO