WhatsApp head Will Cathcart said that there is a growing need for “more companies, and, critically, governments, to take steps to hold NSO Group accountable,” and urged for a “global moratorium on the use of unaccountable surveillance technology now.”
Pegasus has kicked off the debate around tracking individuals, including journalists, lawyers, and human rights activists in various countries. This new investigation, which was primarily based on a large information leak and was carried out by 16 media organisations together with India’s The Wire and international shops corresponding to The Washington Post and The Guardian NSOs Pegasus is used to “commit horrible human rights abuses” globally and “it must be stopped”, WhatsApp Head Will Cathcart stated on Twitter. India is discovered to be amongst greater than 50 nations the place the adware is believed for use as a cyber-surveillance weapon.
In a series of tweets, Cathcart has put forward some points in a protracted thread on Twitter that human rights defenders, tech corporations, and governments should work collaboratively to extend personal safety and maintain the entities abusing the Pegasus adware accountable.
“This is a wake-up call for security on the Internet,” he stated. “The mobile is the primary computer for billions of people. Governments and companies must do everything they can to make it as secure as possible.”
He also tweeted that in 2019 Whatsapp fought back against the tool from NSO. “In 2019, WhatsApp discovered and defeated an attack from NSO. They rely on unknown vulnerabilities in mobile OSes, which is one of the reasons why we felt it was so important to raise awareness of what we’d found.”
Cathcart added that in 2019, WhatsApp worked with CitizenLab, which identified over 100 cases of abusive targeting of human rights defenders and journalists in more than 20 countries. “But today’s reporting shows that the true scale of abuse is even larger, and with terrifying national security implications,” Cathcart adds.
“We need more companies, and critically, governments, to take steps to hold NSO Group accountable,” he said. “Once again, we urge a global moratorium on the use of unaccountable surveillance technology now.”
According to the government of India, the story has been crafted in such a way that the conclusions are skewed “However, the questionnaire sent to the government of India indicates that the story being crafted is one that is not only bereft of facts but also founded in preconceived conclusions. It seems you are trying to play the role of an investigator, prosecutor as well as jury,” the government said in response to the Guardian about the latest NSO leak.