SPYWARE EVERYWHERE?

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SPYWARE EVERYWHERE?

Is this everywhere? Is their a hack in every pie? Is it the most lethal tool conspiracy of conspiracy and crime? Is the distinction between conventional and virtual completely blurred? Jamal Khashoggi’s murder throws up the connect in an extremely conspicuous manner. It is reported that on 2nd October last year, a well known journalist and critic of the Saudi government, walked into the country’s consulate in Istanbul, where he was murdered. The journalist is alleged to have been killed on orders from the highest levels and his body has not been found.

He was a prominent journalist having covered major stories including Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the rise of Osama Bin Laden. For decades close to Saudi royal family, he had fallen out of favour, went into a self – imposed exile in US, where he wrote a monthly column in Washington Post criticising policies of Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman. There is a spyware everywhere. A law suit was filed by a Saudi dissident of the murdered journalist that it was an Israeli software company which facilitated “taking over his smartphone” and spy on his communications with Mr. Khashoggi.

As per New York Times, “the Montreal – based Saudi dissident, Omar Abdulaziz, follows parallel suits by journalists, activists and others charging that the NSO Group improperly helped the governments of Mexico and the UAE spy on their smartphones even though the individuals had no criminal records and posed no threat of violence.” The product in question is a known as Pegasus developed by a Israeli technology firm NSO Group Technologies and has sweeping invasive capabilities. Israel classifies it has a weapon.

The product is not available in the open market and can sold after a full vetting and licencing by the Israeli government. Saudi Arabia is said to have paid $55 million for it’s use last year. The company denies it’s misuse. “The spyware allows its customers to secretly listen to calls, record keystrokes, read messages, and track internet history on a targeted phone. It also enables customers to use a phone’s microphone and camera as surveillance devices.”

IS SPYWARE THE ULTIMATE WEAPON TO DATE?

Sanjay Sahay

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