two Dubai Princesses were listed as potential targets by clients of an Israeli cyber surveillance company using Pegasus spyware, which is designed to keep an eye on criminals and terrorists, it has been claimed.
Latifa bint Mohammed al Maktoum, daughter of the country’s authoritarian ruler, and Haya bint Hussein, his sixth and former wife, were among the 50,000 “people of interest” who May have been targeted with spyware leased by the firm NSO Group, say investigators.
Fears for the life of Princess Latifah have been raised since 2018, when she tried to flee the country, and investigators say Pegasus spyware could have put her at further risk.
According to the Pegasus Project, a group of more than 80 international journalists investigating the use of spyware, the details of the princesses were on a list of 50,000.
Military-grade spyware can be used by authoritarian governments to hack the mobile phones of journalists, lawyers, activists and politicians. It can turn smartphones into 24-hour surveillance devices.
French President Emmanuel Macron was also among the world leaders whose phone calls may have been selected As for possible targets, it was revealed earlier this week.
Princess Latifah’s escape attempt three years earlier was foiled by a dramatic raid of her yacht in the Indian Ocean.
Amnesty International was unable to perform forensic analysis on their phones to confirm whether they were targeted or that spyware had been installed.
But Amnesty Tech director Rasha Abdul Rahim said: “These shocking revelations are implicit NSO Group In the list of human rights violations committed on Princess Latifah and Princess Haya.
“NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware potentially helped rob Princess Latifah of her freedom – it may have given her captors the tools needed to hack her phone and track her.
“After speaking out in support of Princess Latifah, it could also be used to target Princess Haya and many of her allies.”
He added: “This proves once again that Pegasus is the spyware of choice for human rights abusers.
“The damaging revelations of the Pegasus project underscore the urgent need for stronger regulation to rein in an unregulated surveillance industry.”
The chief minister of the Indian state of Assam has called for Amnesty International to be banned in the country, alleging that there is a conspiracy to “malign” Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his role in the explosive Pegasus leak. Guardian Reported.
An analysis of the phone numbers selected for potential surveillance indicates that it was primarily used to target Indian numbers, including those critical of the Modi government.