The mobile phones of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Defense Minister Margarita Robles were the target of “illicit and external” tapping through the Pegasus program, according to an official report by the National Cryptology Center (CNC).
Madrid, Spain | The tapping of the two phones was announced by the Spanish government’s spokeswoman, Isabel Rodriguez and by the Minister of the Presidency of the Government, Félix Bolaños, at a press conference that took place today at Palácio de la Moncloa, Madrid.
Bolaños explained that according to reports from the Spanish cybersecurity organization (CNC) there were two intrusions on Pedro Sanchéz’s cell phone in May 2021 and a wiretapping on Robles’ cell phone in June last year.
The “illegal intervention” was confirmed following an investigation that is still ongoing into the communications of all members of the Spanish government.
“These are confirmed and extremely serious facts that confirm that there have been intrusions on state institutions and that they are illegal”, added Bolaños.
“We are dealing with illicit and external interventions”, he underlined.
The use of the Israeli-made Pegasus computer program was initially denounced by opposition members and separatists in Catalonia.
Today, Catalan deputies from the CUP (Candidacy for Popular Unity) Carlos Riera, Albert Botran and David Fernàndez filed a complaint with a Barcelona court against alleged acts of espionage through the Pegasus computer program.
According to a statement from the CUP, the complaint on behalf of the three deputies states that it is a crime against intimacy with the aim of “revealing secrets”.
Likewise, the Catalan separatist organization Ómnium Cultural indicated today that it has already filed a complaint about possible acts of spying on members of the group.
On the other hand, the Government of the Spanish Autonomous Region of Catalonia (Generalitat) announced that it will periodically inspect the mobile phones of 500 officials in official positions due to threats carried out through espionage programs such as Pegasus.
Previously, intrusions were denounced to dozens of Catalan independentists, including the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès.
The Pegasus program, manufactured by a private Israeli company can only be sold and used by governments and has been at the center of several spy scandals against politicians, journalists and human rights defenders around the world, namely Spain, Morocco and France.
The program, which can only be sold after authorization from the Israeli government, has already been banned in the United States.
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