French prosecutor opens probe into use of Israeli Pegasus malware to spy on journalists

Paris (QNN)- The Paris prosecutor’s office said Tuesday it had opened a probe into reports that intelligence services used the Israeli-made malware Pegasus to spy on several French journalists.

The probe announced on Tuesday will examine 10 different charges, including whether there was a breach of personal privacy, fraudulent access to personal electronic devices and criminal association.

French investigative website Mediapart filed a legal complaint on Monday and 17 media organizations, led by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden Stories, are set to follow suit over the spying claims, which Morocco has denied.

The organizations had said that the Pegasus spyware made and licensed by the Israeli company, NSO, had been used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials and human rights activists.

French investigative news website Mediapart filed a legal complaint on Monday in the wake of the spying claims.

A collaborative investigation by The Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde and other media outlets, based on a leaked list of 50,000 phone numbers, said Monday that spying worldwide using the malware from the Israeli firm NSO Group had been far more extensive than previously thought.

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