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Pegasus, weapon of mass destruction of rights, says Puigdemont

Jessica Xanthomilla

Newspaper La Jornada
Saturday May 28, 2022, p. 8

Espionage technologies such as Pegasus software, from the Israeli company NSO Group, with which some 50,000 cell phone numbers of journalists, politicians, activists, among others, in 45 countries, 15,000 of them in Mexico, were intercepted, are tools completely incompatible with democracy and illegalwhich cannot be justified by the States on the grounds that they are used to protect themselves from criminals, experts agreed.

In a discussion organized by the Faculty of Higher Studies (FES) Acatlán, of UNAM, MEPs Carles Puigdemont and Diana Riba, members of the committee to investigate cases of espionage with Pegasus in the European Union, pointed out that tools of this type are uncontrollable despite the law.

The former Catalan president Puigdemont, who was spied on through said software, asserted that Pegasus and other systems are weapons of mass destruction fundamental rights. It is not a question, he said, of regulating or finding a more guaranteeing legislation for technologies of this type, since they are illegal.

In addition, he maintained, there are currently electronic espionage mechanisms perfectly regulated and limitedwho do not allow what Pegasus does, what is to make the copy of a clone of your self. This, she added, it is a bomb to the rule of law and to the idea of ​​legal certainty.

Riba reported that in Catalonia, between 2017 and 2021, 65 people were spied on with said software, including herself. Faced with this problem, she stated that it is from the citizenry that governments can be pressured to be transparent, because in the end Pegasus is destroying our democracies and ends with our political, journalistic and opinion diversity.

Corporate espionage

Alejandro Calvillo, from El Poder del Consumidor, who was also spied on with Pegasus, emphasized that in Mexico –during the Peña Nieto government– there were cases like his, in which large corporations were behind the espionage. The State was serving to provide information to these large global economies, mainly in this case those of sugary drinks, because we were trying to raise the tax for these.

He indicated that what is resolved in the European Parliament can influence globally.

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