The government said the mobile phones of Pedro Sanchez and Margarita Robles were the subject of an “external” wiretap in 2021.
The cyber-espionage issue that has excited the political world in Spain for the past month took on a new dimension on Monday 2 May, with the government announcing that Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Defense Minister had been spied on by Israeli programs. Pegasus.
During a press conference urgently held in Madrid this holiday, the Minister of the Presidency, Felix Bolanos, claimed that the mobile phones of Pedro Sanchez and Margarita Robles were infected last year by this software designed by the Israeli company NSO and is already the subject of multiple investigations around the world.
“Super Gravity Facts”
condemn “Very serious factsHe stressed that the government has not only doubts, but also certainty, saying that these are attacks.externalWithout saying however that it sprang from a foreign country. “We are absolutely sure that this is an external attack (…) because in Spain, in a democracy like ours, all interventions are carried out by official bodies and with judicial authorization“, It is to explain. “In this case, neither of these cases occurred“Felix Polanyos continued.”That is why (…) we have no doubt that it is external interference“.
He pointed out that the government submitted a complaint on these facts, Monday, to the “National Assembly”, a court responsible for issues of national or international importance, such as terrorism cases, to shed light on everything. Once installed, Pegasus allows you to access messages, data, or remotely activate your smartphone’s cameras and microphones. NSO has always emphasized that this program, whose export requires a green light from the Israeli authorities, can only be sold to countries and only to help them fight terrorism or crime. However, Pegasus and NSO have faced serious accusations since a media consortium revealed last summer that the software had been used to spy on the phones of hundreds of politicians, women, men, human rights activists and business leaders.
According to the non-governmental organization Amnesty International, it could have been used to hack up to 50,000 mobile phones worldwide. “you enteron Pedro Sanchez’s mobile in May 2021 and one on Margarita Robles’s mobile in June 2021, according to Felix Bolaños. Either way, they made it possible to extractSpecific amount of dataHe added without further details. According to the Daily El PaísHackers extracted 2.6 GB of data from Pedro Sanchez’s phone and 9 MB from Margherita Robles, but the government is still ignorant.The nature and sensitivity of the stolen informationThese are their official phones, which were provided to them by the state, not private.
These discoveries come at a time when Spain is in the midst of a crisis between the government of Pedro Sanchez, a socialist, and the independence circles of Catalonia (northeast) who accuse the Center for National Intelligence (CNI) of spying on them with Pegasus. The case erupted on April 18, when Citizen Lab, a cybersecurity project at Canada’s University of Toronto, published a report identifying 65 pro-independence activists – mostly Catalans – whose laptops were allegedly hacked between 2017 and 2020 by the software.
In the face of these accusations, Pedro Sanchez, without clarifying whether or not there was espionage by state intelligence services, announced the start of an internal investigation within the CNI and vowed to “Responsible“.The first reactions of the Catalan separatist circles after the revelation of the government were very severe for this circle.”When the intense espionage against the Catalan institutions and independence is silence and apologyThe head of the Catalan regional government, Pierre Aragon, tweeted.The double standards are clear. Against independence, it’s all good“.
The crisis is even more serious for the minority left-wing government led by Pedro Sánchez because it needs support in Parliament from the Pere Aragon party to remain in power until the end of the legislature at the end of 2023. According to Felix Bolaños, checks continue to see if other members of the Spanish government have been spied on. with Pegasus.
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