Le Monde: Macron Was Possibly Spied On Via Pegasus
French President Emmanuel Macron’s phone has been put on a list of potential targets for surveillance on behalf of Moroccan authorities via the Pegasus programme, French newspaper Le Monde has reported. According to its sources, one of Mr. Macron’s phone numbers, which he has used regularly since 2017, is on a list of numbers selected by Morocco’s intelligence service for possible cyber espionage.
The French president’s office said authorities would investigate the information. According to Le Monde, former French prime minister Edouard Philippe and 14 ministers were also targeted. Morocco denies any involvement in the use of Pegasus and rejects « unfounded and false allegations ».
A journalistic investigation into the Pegasus smartphone hacking software, developed by the Israeli NSO Group, was published on Sunday. According to the media, it was supposed to be used to catch criminals, but for years it had been used to spy on journalists, opposition figures, businessmen, prominent politicians and just people undesirable to its clients. NSO denied the information, saying that the company’s products were allegedly intended only for use by government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to combat terrorism and crime.
On Tuesday, the Paris prosecutor’s office launched an investigation into claims by news website Mediapart and two of its journalists that Morocco was spying on them using Pegasus. « The only way for the judiciary to get to the bottom of this is to conduct an independent investigation into widespread espionage by Morocco in France, » Mediapart said.