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Tech firm’s spyware targeted phones of Journalists

As cell phones have become ubiquitous, government intelligence agencies have poured vast resources into hacking them, remotely stripping people of their privacy in the name of national security.

Now, a burgeoning industry has emerged, generating huge profits for shadowy corporations that specialize in developing ever-more innovative ways to secretly infect digital devices with spyware.

Activists, journalists, human rights defenders and dissidents the world over have been surveilled and in a number of cases arrested, tortured or killed.

Citizen Lab, a cyber security research organization based at the University of Toronto, revealed the existence of a “zero-click” exploit that exposed 1.65 billion phone devices to a complete and almost undetectable takeover by the spyware known as Pegasus.

Governments that have deep pockets can simply go and purchase this type of despotism as a service off the shelf and are possibly using it to track down whoever questions their integrity on corruption, land expropriation and human rights abuses.

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