Democracy Now! – Dec 6, 2022
A group of journalists working for the award-winning Central American independent news outlet El Faro have filed a lawsuit in U.S. court against NSO Group, the Israeli company that operates the Pegasus spyware used to monitor and track journalists, human rights activists and dissidents across the globe. The journalists of El Faro, which is based in El Salvador, allege that Pegasus software was used to infiltrate their iPhones and track their communications and movements. “We’re of course of the belief that it was the government of El Salvador who engaged in these attacks. This is weapons-grade software that is sold exclusively to governments,” says Roman Gressier, a French American staff reporter with El Faro English and one of 15 plaintiffs in the lawsuit. We also speak with Carrie DeCell, senior staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the lead lawyer in the lawsuit, who says part of the goal is to force the courts to confirm who NSO Group’s client was. “That would send a signal to other government clients around the world that they can no longer rely on NSO Group’s assurances of secrecy when they … intimidate and persecute journalists, civil rights activists, human rights activists around the world,” says DeCell.