France has ordered the launch of an investigation into alleged espionage from Pegasus software. In a report, it has been claimed that 300 verified mobile numbers have been spied in India by this software of the Israeli company. These include Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, election strategist Prashant Kishor and the numbers of many big leaders, 40 journalists, top court judges and others.
French prosecutors announced on Tuesday that they have opened an investigation into allegations of using Pegasus spyware to target journalists in the country. It is the first investigation to be announced after media outlets began reporting on the use of Pegasus spyware in several countries to spy on politicians, journalists and others.
AFP news agency reported that the investigation would focus on the use of Pegasus spyware by Moroccan intelligence agencies to spy on French journalists. Euro News reported to the French Justice Ministry that the Paris prosecutor’s office would investigate a string of charges, including “fraud”, “fraudulent entry of data”, “invasion of privacy”.
Euro News reported that the investigation has been entrusted to a branch of the judicial police of France’s Central Office for Combatting Technology-Related Crimes of Information and Communication.
French media outlet Mediapart filed a complaint on Monday after the names of its journalists surfaced in Pegasus’ disclosures. French newspaper Le Canard Enchaine is also expected to contact the authorities on the issue.
MediaPart revealed on Monday that the phone numbers of its co-founder and publishing editor Edvi Planel and reporter Lenoug Bredoux were targeted by Moroccan agencies. The analysis showed that their phones were targeted with spyware by Moroccan agents in 2019 and 2020.
According to reports, Pegasus was allegedly used by Moroccan agencies to target 1,000 French citizens, including 30 journalists and media officials. Journalists targeted include employees of Le Monde, Le Figaro, AFP and France Television.