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Use of Pegasus spyware on Spain’s politicians causing ‘crisis of democracy’


Targeting of Catalan independence leaders and Spanish ministers must be independently investigated, says cybersecurity expert

The use of Pegasus spyware to target both Catalan independence leaders and Spanish politicians – including the prime minister – has plunged Spain into a “crisis of democracy” and national security that can only be tackled with an independent investigation, a leading cybersecurity expert has warned.

Last month, researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab revealed that at least 65 individuals connected with the Catalan independence movement had been targeted with spyware between 2017 and 2020.

A fortnight later, the Spanish government announced that the phones of the prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, and the defence minister, Margarita Robles, had been hacked with Pegasus in May and June last year.

Although the Spanish government attempted to defuse the row by sacking the country’s spy chief, Paz Esteban , earlier this week, the twin scandal is refusing to fade away.

Ron Deibert, the director of the Citizen Lab, said he had been shocked to discover Pegasus being used against political targets and their families as well as against lawyers and journalists in what was meant to be “an ostensibly democratic” society. According to its makers, the Israeli NSO Group, the […]

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