Edward Snowden, the man behind the biggest spy scandal in history, has reacted to the Pegasus affair. He believes that to end the use of spyware, governments around the world must join forces to abolish spyware.
Two days ago, the biggest government espionage affair since Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 broke out. Accustomed to commenting on questionable practices in countries around the world, the former employee was expected to of the NSA react to these latest revelations. As a reminder, a dozen countries – as far as we know at the moment – have used spyware named Pegasus to infiltrate the smartphones of tens of thousands of journalists and activists.
For Snowden, the finding is alarming: without rapid intervention by governments, no smartphone is safe from hacking. He thus believes that what he describes as a “industry” digital espionage “Should not exist”. He calls on leaders to come together in the face of this scourge to ban their use forever. According to him, spyware indeed allows authoritarian regimes to massively monitor their population and, therefore, repress at the source any attempt at rebellion.
Snowden wants to ban spyware
Usually the police need“Break into someone’s house, or their car, or their office ”to install a microphone or collect information. “NOTe like to think that they will probably get a warrant ”, Snowden points out. But this is no longer necessary in the age of digital espionage. By selling spyware to authorities, companies give them an inexpensive and very effective way to keep control of their population. “If they can do the same remotely, inexpensively and without risk, they start doing it all the time, against anyone with even marginal interest”, he explains.
Edward Snowden is also worried about the possible evolution of such technology, and the use made of it by their buyers. “If you don’t do anything to stop the sale of this technology, there won’t be just 50,000 targets. There will be 50 million targets, and it will happen much faster than any of us can predict ”. It even goes up to compare this industry to the manufacture of nuclear weapons, insofar as it is impossible for ordinary people to protect themselves against this kind of attack.
The only solution: a coalition of governments against digital espionage
The computer expert also implicates the manufacturers of smartphones, which, according to him, essentially sell the same type of device to users. As a result, as he points out, “If hackers find a way to hack an iPhone, they’ve found a way to hack them all”. So, malware developers look like crazy scientists whose only goal is to spread a virus among the population.
“It’s like an industry where the only thing they do is create custom variants of COVID to dodge vaccines. Their only products are vectors of infection. They are not security products. They don’t provide any kind of protection, no kind of prophylaxis. They don’t make vaccines – the only thing they sell is the virus ”.
On the same topic: Edward Snowden turns your old smartphone into a surveillance camera
What interest then for companies to market this kind of software? For Edward Snowden, the answer is crystal clear: they do it for profit. “The only reason NSO is doing this isn’t to save the world, it’s to make money”. An international treaty banning the sale of spyware would then put an end to this type of act. It remains for the main parties to agree on the issue. The scale of the scandal is only increasing hour by hour, Snowden’s call may resonate with leaders.
Source: The Guardian