World in Togo, more than 300 telephone numbers targeted by Pegasus
Probe: Journalists, activists among firm's spyware targets
BOSTON (AP) — An investigation by a global media consortium based on leaked targeting data provides further evidence that military-grade malware from Israel-based NSO Group, the world’s most infamous hacker-for-hire outfit, is being used to spy on journalists, human rights activists and political dissidents. From a list of more than 50,000 cellphone numbers obtained by the Paris-based journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories and the human rights group Amnesty International and shared with 16 news organizations, journalists were able to identify more than 1,000 individuals in 50 countries who were allegedly selected by NSO clients for potential surveillance.
More than 300 Togolese numbers appear in the list of potential targets of Israeli spyware, Pegasus, while Togo is one of the nearest African countries in the Hebrew state. Targeted people include activists, journalists or political opponents.
Political side, we find among the numbers targeted bythose of opponents of the Faure Gnassingbé regime. This is the case of Tikpi Atchadam, the leader of the Pan-African National Party, or Agbeyomé Kodjo, unfortunate candidate in the presidential of 2020 against the head of state. Both live today in exile.
NSO Group's Pegasus spyware used against journalists, political activists worldwide: report
A probe into the group suggests that its products are being used for purposes beyond criminal or terrorist investigations.Privacy advocates worry that we're sleepwalking into a world of surveillance.
activists and journalists are also targeted, like David Ekoué Dosseh, founder of the Togo Citizen platform standing or the reporter of investigative Carlos Ketohou.
Joint by RFI, the director of the newspaper The alternative, Ferdinand also potentially spied -, not surprised, "We are not naive, we know that in Togo, some people are under surveillance." However, the journalist recognizes that with Pegasus, things go further. Because the spyware is able to draw all the information - messages, photos, contacts - contained in the infected phone and activate its microphone. It's as if "another person took control of our private and professional life," observes Ferdinand Ayity.The President does not exclude the espionage of his opponents
if the Israeli NSO company that publishes and markets the Pegasus software disputes these revelations, the Togolese authorities, they do not deny. Asked by the newspaper Le Monde on the use of Pegasus software in Togo to fight against terrorism, President Faure Gnassingbé replied that "every sovereign state is organized to deal with what threatens it with the means available to them.
As for the espionage of his opponents, the head of state replies that he can not confirm it. However, notes the world, it does not exclude it either.
It must also be said that the country is particularly under diplomatically of Israel. "The power maintains privileged relations with Israeli networks animated by old Mossad, the Israeli external intelligence agency," says Journalist Ferdinand Ayity.
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Benny Gantz goes this week in Paris to "keep abreast" the French authorities of the latest developments on this Israeli cybersecurity company © Joël Saget The Israeli computer security company NSO is at the origin of the pegasus espionage software (illustration). Diplomacy - Benny Gantz goes this week in Paris to "keep abreast of" the French authorities of the latest developments on this Israeli cybersecurity company after the revelations, the explanations.