The German Federal Criminal Office (BKA) secretly acquired the Pegasus spyware from the Israeli company NSO Group to spy on suspected crimes. About it writes Die Zeit, citing sources in the security department.
Despite the concerns of lawyers, the authorities bought the software (software) at the end of 2019. The software allows you to access iPhones and Android smartphones in real time, record conversations and read location data. In addition, Pegasus is able to turn on the camera and microphone of the monitored device unnoticed by the user.
For the first time, the criminal police of Germany began to discuss the purchase of software from NSO back in 2017, but the Federal Constitutional Court allowed the collection and study of data from smartphones and computers of alleged criminals only in exceptional cases, and also to use only certain types of surveillance of these devices. The German Interior Ministry declined to comment on the information.
Earlier in July in several foreign media was published an investigation called the Pegasus Project, which alleged that the Israeli company NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware was used to hack personal phones and computers belonging to journalists and activists around the world. Such surveillance, in particular, was carried out by the Hungarian government under the leadership of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
The Guardian wrotethat the phone of the founder of Telegram, billionaire Pavel Durov, was found on the list of people who could be followed by the government-clients of the Israeli NSO. His number was added to the database in 2018 when he moved to the UAE. Le Monde also learnedthat the number of French President Emmanuel Macron, chosen for surveillance by the Moroccan intelligence service, was also on the Pegasus list. Other countries whose authorities used spyware included Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, India, Israel, Bahrain, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.