Smartphone user privacy concerns don’t end!

Just a few weeks ago, the chairman of the Bundestag’s Digital Agenda committee, Manuel Hoferlin, declared that Apple was on a “dangerous path” with plans to implement tracking of child sexual assault material on the device. For Hoferlin, the initiative undermines “secure and confidential communication.” Surely no one expected it to be discovered buying Pegasus spyware, by the criminal police of that country.

Apple and privacy: one of its great maxims.

According to recent reports, the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) bought access to Pegasus spyware from NSO Group in 2019 after the failure of internal efforts to develop similar iOS and Android surveillance tools. The agreement was revealed in a closed session with the Interior Committee of the German parliament.

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Germany does the same thing that criticizes Apple

The statements state that the tool was purchased in 2019 and is currently used in conjunction with a less effective state-developed Trojan. As noted in the report, NSO spyware exploits zero-day vulnerabilities to get access to smartphones, including the latest iPhones, for record conversations, collect location data, access chat transcripts and more.

The Pegasus acquisition contradicts Germany’s laws, which state that authorities can only hack into suspects’ mobile phones and computers in special circumstances, while surveillance operations are governed by similarly strict rules. Although still it is unknown how the restrictions are implemented and if they have been effective. It is also unknown how often and against whom Pegasus was deployed.

According AppleinsiderGermany approached NSO for a possible license agreement in 2017, but the plan was rejected due to concerns about the software’s capabilities. The talks resumed after the BKA’s attempts to create its own spyware failed.

Related topics: Manzana

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