The Palestinian Digital Rights Coalition condemns the targeting of a group of Palestinian human rights defenders using Israeli manufactured surveillance technology and spyware “Pegasus,” developed by the “NSO Group” an Israeli surveillance
Ramallah, Occupied Palestine - 23 October 2021, The Palestinian Digital Rights Coalition condemns the targeting of a group of Palestinian human rights defenders using Israeli manufactured surveillance technology and spyware “Pegasus,” developed by the “NSO Group” an Israeli surveillance company recently listed on the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security’s black list, officially known as the “Entity List for Malicious Cyber Activities,” for manufacturing and supplying foreign authorities with spyware.
Oppressive authorities and political systems around the world deploy spyware to silence human rights defenders and impose illegal censorship on them. According to Frontline Defenders, Israeli authorities used such technologies against 6 Palestinian human rights defenders, recently accused by Israel of previous involvement in “terrorism” as part of a larger smear campaign against Palestinian organizations. Such spyware often violates people’s right to privacy, and in the Palestinian context comes as an extension to other forms of shrinking space for human rights defenders, and undermining their basic right to freedom of expression and work to defend Palestinian rights and document violations against them.
A recent cooperative investigation released by Amnesty International, including more than 80 journalists from 17 organizations across 10 countries, addressed the ongoing use of NSO’s “Pegasus” in wide scale illegal surveillance purposes leading to human rights violations, especially the right to privacy of presidents, activists, journalists, human rights defenders and political opponents.
NSO Group is complicit in numerous human rights violations due to violating the United Nations’ Guidelines on Businesses and Human Rights, which requires the group to urgently take proactive steps to ensure that they do not cause or contribute to any human rights abuses in their global operations, and respond to any human rights abuses when they occur.
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