The FBI waged war on Pegasus, before they coveted it


It’s a messy revelation for the FBI. According to a survey by New York Times, US federal law enforcement officials lobbied authorities between late 2020 and the first half of 2021 for the right to deploy Pegasus spyware in criminal investigations. It is unclear whether this could have been used to hack US citizens, foreign citizens, or both.

The FBI is very tempted by the use of spyware

If this revelation caused a stir, it’s because the FBI has always claimed the opposite. While questioned by parliamentarians behind closed doors last December, Cristopher A. Wray, the director of the federal police, justified the purchase and use of Pegasus as follows: “ To be able to figure out how bad guys might use it, for example “.

But this is only part of the reality. In a legal document signed in the name of the FBI, the tone is very different, and we can sense certain regrets: The fact that the FBI ultimately decided not to deploy the tool in support of criminal investigations does not mean that it would not potentially test, evaluate, and deploy other similar tools to gain access to encrypted communications used by criminals “.

Called into question by the investigation of our colleagues, the federal police reacted through a spokesperson. He explains that “ the director’s testimony was accurate when given and remains true today – there was no operational use of the NSO product to support any FBI investigation “.

A technology to spy on spies

As a reminder, the Pegasus scandal was revealed by a consortium of journalists who investigated the software sold by the Israeli company NSO Group to States. They were able to establish that it was not only used to spy on terrorists or criminals, but also journalists, NGO activists, and certain leading political figures.

This new case illustrates the embarrassment of the police who may be tempted to use this type of spy device to obtain certain information. We spoke to you in particular last May about this technology created by the companies Anomaly Six and Zignal Labs.

A whistleblower has published a video on these two mystery companies, which notably subcontract their activities for American federal agencies. It turns out that their system is capable of hacking cameras around the world to geo-locate any individual in real time. Nearly 3 billion smartphones are being shadowed, including those, and this is a shame, of members of the NSA and the CIA.

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