Germany's federal police agency secretly purchased and used controversial spyware 'Pegasus'

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German news outlet Deutsche Welle (DW) notes that the federal government held a closed-door session with the parliamentary Interior Committee of the Bundestag. In the meeting, it...
Why it matters: According to reports out of Germany, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) purchased spyware from Israel-based developer NSO. The software in question is the controversial spyware known as Pegasus. Pegasus has been used by other governments to spy on journalists and other non-criminal individuals.

confirmed that the BKA bought Pegasus software from NSO Group in 2019. The agency made the purchase in "the utmost secrecy" against the advice of lawyers and privacy advocates who argued the software could do much more than German privacy laws allow.

Sources said that the version of Pegasus the BKA bought had "certain functions blocked to prevent abuse." However, what parts of the software were specifically disabled and how is unclear.

Pegasus is capable of circumventing security protocols in both iOS and Android operating systems. Citizen Lab confirmed as late as this year that Pegasus can easily escape security measures in iOS 14. It uses various techniques to capture everything from phone…
Cal Jeffrey
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