The National Information Systems Security Agency (Anssi) has identified digital traces of Pegasus spyware on the phones of France 24 journalist Lénaïg Bredoux, investigative journalist for the French investigation site Mediapart, and the director from the Edwy Plenel website, The Guardian reported. .
After the news that the Pegasus spyware may have targeted two journalists from Mediapart, which first reported that the Rafale plane deal was under review in France, a senior congressional official P Chidambaram attacked the BJP government and wondered if the Center “would abandon its ostrich attitude and accept the opposition’s demand for a full discussion in Parliament on the misuse of Pegasus spyware in India”.
Bredoux told the Guardian the discovery was confirmation of long-held suspicions that they had been targeted. “It puts an end to the idea that these are all lies and fake news. This is the proof we need, “said Bredoux, adding:” It takes a little while to realize it, but it is extremely unpleasant to think that you are being spied on, that pictures of your husband and your children, your friends – who are all collateral victims – are examined; that there is no space in which you can escape. It is very disturbing.
Le Monde reported that police experts believe the France 24 journalist’s phone has been targeted for surveillance three times – in May 2019, September 2020 and January 2021.
French President Emmanuel Macron was one of the three heads of state who would have been targeted for potential oversight, with two other sitting presidents being Barham Salih of Iraq and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa.
The numbers of the former French prime minister and the majority of Macron’s 20 cabinets were also part of the leaked database.
After the story broke, Macron ordered several inquiries to investigate the allegations.
Macron had previously spoken to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett about reports that Moroccan security forces may have used Pegasus spyware to snoop on his cell phones. Macron phoned Bennett on July 22 and asked him to make sure “the problem was taken seriously,” Israel’s Channel 12 reported.