As we’ve reported before, a product of Israel’s NSO Group – Pegasus – is the Swiss Army knife of spyware. It can infiltrate a smartphone remotely and transform its camera and microphone into a 24/7 spy. It can copy your messages, record your calls, and extract all your images.
Released into the wild, Pegasus has been sold to repressive regimes around the world. It has been linked to the murders of Mexican journalists, sold to Saudi Arabia before appearing in the smartphone of the wife of the butchered dissident Jamal Khashoggi, and most recently fueling an Israeli political scandal.
A version of Pegasus called Phantom was also purchased by the FBI, which has acknowledged it has been testing NSO Group spyware since 2019.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), Ranking Member of the Constitution subcommittee, fired off a letter Wednesday to Apple CEO Tim Cook and FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding information about the possible use of this spyware in the United States.
They are asking for answers about:
They also asked for a staff level briefing about Apple’s communications, if any, with representatives of the Justice Department, FBI or any other governmental entity about Pegasus or Phantom.
Reps. Jordan and Johnson requested a response to their queries by 5 p.m. March 17.
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