An illustration of a mobile phone infected with the Pegasus system.Fernanda Castro
Fifteen journalists and members of the Salvadoran digital newspaper
have filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the maker of the spyware Pegasus.
The complaint has been formally filed by the Knight First Amendment Institute of Columbia University and accuses the firm that designed the program, NSO Group, an Israeli technology company, of violations of the law of abuse and computer fraud, as reported by the medium through Twitter.
The mobile phones of more than half of the workers at
were tapped between June 2020 and November 2021, that is, during the term of President Nayib Bukele.
The espionage was directed against various positions in the newspaper: editors, editors, members of the board of directors and even administrative staff.
In almost all cases, the team remained under constant surveillance throughout 226 different interventions.
According to Carrie DeCell of the Knight Institute, "Courts must ensure that manufacturers are held accountable for violating laws in the United States."
The lawsuit was filed in the same court in which Apple sued NSO in 2021 for applying "sophisticated surveillance" with Pegasus using iPhones.
"Neither manufacturers nor their customers should be able to remain anonymous to evade their legal responsibility," added Jameel Jaffer, director of the institution.
In the words of Carlos Dada, director of El Faro, the lawsuit is a precedent so that companies that distribute spyware know that attacking press freedom has consequences.
"We are looking for a court in another country because there is no possibility in El Salvador of obtaining justice," he indicated.
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