According to a report in The New York Times, Israeli software was used by the Saudis to spy on Jamal Khashoggi. A lawsuit has been filed by a Saudi dissident close to the murdered journalist, which claims that this software was used to spy on Khashoggi’s communication via his smart phone. The company that makes the Pegasus software, NSO Group, and Israel, which licences the company’s sales to foreign governments have been named in the suit. This confirms Israel’s increasingly open alliance with Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf kingdoms. This is how Jamal Khashoggi was entrapped and murdered with the help of a hidden microphone.
Israeli Spyware Licenced by Saudi Arabian Security Forces Used in Journalist’s Smart Phone
This lawsuit follows in the footsteps of earlier suits by journalists and others, who have charged that the NSO Group has helped governments in Mexico and the United Arab Emirates spy on their smart phones, despite the individuals having no criminal records or posing any threat to these governments. Amnesty International have, also, accused the NSO Group of assisting Saudi Arabia to spy on a member of their staff via their Pegasus software. The spyware allows those listening in to monitor calls, record them, read messages, record keystrokes, and track their internet browsing history. Plus, it enables the spying governments to utilise the smart phone’s microphone and camera as surveillance devices.
Technology a Two-Edged Sword
This story highlights the covert art of hidden microphones at the heart of many nefarious activities happening on the world stage. What we used to watch on our movie screens is now centre stage on the evening news. That our own love affair and obsession with our smart phones could very easily bring us undone via software like this, should be a warning to all of us. We will not listen to it, of course, because we rarely do in these instances. Technology is very much a two-edged sword, which will catch us out in the long-run, I suspect. We may not be spies or activists, but if our security forces have access to technologies like Pegasus, we are all in some strife I suggest. Jamal Khashoggi will be the first in a long line of dissidents, activists, journalists and the like, who will be snaffled up by security forces in the future. Australia’s new anti-encryption laws will be another attack on the privacy of individuals.