The Pegasus spyware would have been used to “spy” on different reporters around the world. One of them is the Salvadoran Nelson Rauda Zablah, who made his case in The Guardian portal. This program, once it infects your smartphone, allows spies to obtain a clone of your devices. The journalist from El Salvador, who was warned of this situation in August 2020, and has been working on a lawsuit against the creators of the spyware.
Many people think of movie scenes when talking about these espionage topics. However, Central American journalists must increasingly manage to avoid control through technology, and this is avoided with more technology. Rauda Zablah reports in her article that she often uses encrypted email and messaging applications. Many times, Nelson relates, he seeks to get rid of the phone before a meeting. In addition, they speak in code and never leave live location knowledge. We are facing the routines of a journalist’s life.
Pegasus and extreme surveillance
Nearly twenty journalists in Central America were being investigated for a story they were working on. The weapons-grade spying software, called Pegasus, belongs to the Israel-based spyware firm NSO Group. A forensic analysis determined that, between June 2020 and November 2021, there were attacks from this spying program. Citizen Lab’s work has shown that some 35 journalists and members of civil society have been spied on by this tool.
The Pegasus infection makes it possible for spies to see everything that happens on your phone. We talk about images, personal texts, purchases and the use of applications. This situation, some press workers commented, led to urgent measures. These included exiting family chat and removing applications, such as banking applications, that are sensitive to the interest of spies.
The press living in hell
The follow up of these journalists is also linked to a work on the new Bitcoin Law in El Salvador. There, there was information related to President Nayib Bukele’s brothers and their negotiations with foreign businessmen. Many press workers have had personal investigations that have ended up frustrated due to lack of evidence.
Journalism has become increasingly difficult in the region with these recent attacks. Follow-up was also planned on the sources, which retaliated against the family members. Pegasus, several journalists have explained, leaves you with a sense of powerlessness, but it has also led to a refusal to be powerless.
The major concern is that governments do not yet have access to the Pegasus surveillance technology. This has led one to wonder how far illegal espionage is reaching in the region. For this reason, NSO Group has been considering filing a lawsuit for irregularities that have been taking place over the last two years. In April of this year, the Israeli media outlet Haaretz presented a list of more than 450 names that have been hacked by this surveillance tool.