UAE News

Morocco denies using spyware to target French officials

Rabat, Jul 21 (AP) The Moroccan government has denied reports that the country’s security forces may have set up an Israeli NSO group to monitor the cellphones of the French president and other public figures. Spyware would be used.In a statement late Tuesday, the Moroccan government hit out at a global media group investigating NSO’s suspected widespread use of Pegasus spyware to target journalists, human rights activists and politicians in several countries. The government has warned of legal action.

The French newspaper Le Monde, a member of the group, reported that the cellphones of President Emmanuel Macron and 15 then-members of the French government could be one of the possible targets of surveillance by Pegasus spyware from Morocco’s security agency in 2019. French public broadcaster Radio France reported that phones from Morocco’s King Mohamed VI and members of his entourage were also among the possible targets.

“The Kingdom of Morocco strongly condemns the persistent false, large-scale and malicious media campaign,” the statement said. challenges to provide any concrete and material evidence in support of the original stories.

The group identified potential targets from a leaked list of more than 50,000 cellphone numbers obtained by Paris-based ‘journalism non-profit Forbidden Stories’ and human rights group Amnesty International. Reports said the list also contained phone numbers for Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Morocco and Rwanda, as well as phone numbers of several Arab royal family members, heads of state and prime ministers.


The NSO group, however, denied that it ever maintained “a list of potential, past or current targets”. He described the reports as “full of misconceptions and unconfirmed theories”.

AP Devendra Uma



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