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French Prosecutors Open Probe Into Alleged Pegasus Media Spying on Journalists

The Pegasus spyware hardly leaves any trace that would allow it to be detected. (Representational image)

The Pegasus spyware hardly leaves any trace that would allow it to be detected. (Representational image)

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

Prosecutors in Paris said Tuesday they had opened a probe into allegations that Moroccan intelligence services used the Israeli malware Pegasus to spy on several French journalists.

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

Investigative website Mediapart filed a legal complaint on Monday, and investigative newspaper Le Canard Enchaine is set to follow suit, over the spying claims, which Morocco has denied.  

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, claimed Monday that spying worldwide using the malware from the NSO Group had been far more extensive than previously thought.

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Mediapart revealed that the phones of its founder Edwy Plenel and one of its journalists were among those targeted by Moroccan intelligence services.

Other journalists working for French media companies were allegedly targeted by Moroccan security services, including employees of Le Monde and Agence France-Presse

Morocco denied the claims, saying it “never acquired computer software to infiltrate communication devices".

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first published:July 20, 2021, 15:00 IST