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Huge data leak: Journalists from biggest media targets for surveillance by governments

Christian Fernsby |
Data leak and forensics suggest NSO’s surveillance tool used against journalists at some of world’s top media companies, The Guardian reveals.

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The editor of the Financial Times is one of more than 180 editors, investigative reporters and other journalists around the world who were selected as possible candidates for surveillance by government clients of the surveillance firm NSO Group, the Guardian can reveal.

Roula Khalaf, who became the first female editor in the newspaper’s history last year, was selected as a potential target throughout 2018.

Her number is included in a leaked list of mobile phone numbers selected for possible surveillance by clients of NSO, an Israeli firm that manufactures spyware and sells it to governments. Its principal product, Pegasus, is capable of compromising a phone, extracting all of the data stored on the device and activating its microphone to eavesdrop on conversations.

Other journalists who were selected as possible candidates for surveillance by NSO’s clients work for some of the world’s most prestigious media organisations. They include the Wall Street Journal, CNN, the New York Times, Al Jazeera, France 24, Radio Free Europe, Mediapart, El País, Associated Press, Le Monde, Bloomberg, Agence France-Presse, the Economist, Reuters and Voice of America.

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