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Meet the shady companies helping governments hack citizens’ phones

Fast Company: “Named for the winged horse of Greek mythology and often sent by text message, Pegasus can burrow into your phone without your knowledge or even your click, hiding for days or weeks inside, surreptitiously recording everything—messages, photos, encrypted chats, and video and audio—in real-time. Exactly where your data is going often remains a mystery, lost in a tangle of servers. But the deadly impacts of Pegasus and other cyberweapons—wielded by governments from Spain to Saudi Arabia against human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and others—is by now well documented. A wave of scrutiny and sanctions have helped expose the secretive, quasi-legal industry behind these tools, and put financial strain on firms like Israel’s NSO Group, which builds Pegasus.  And yet business is booming. New research published this month by Google and Meta suggest that despite new restrictions, the cyberattack market is growing, and growing more dangerous, aiding government violence and repression and eroding democracy around the globe…”

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