President Cyril Ramaphosa finds himself among a group of 14 heads of state and government selected as people of interest by clients of spyware company NSO Group.
This is revealed in a press release issued by Amnesty International suggesting that several world leaders might have had their phones hacked using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.
The release says new evidence uncovered by the Pegasus Project revealed the possible hack of the phones of leaders including Ramaphosa, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Pakistan’s Imran Khan.
Amnesty’s Sheila Mohamed called it an unprecedented revelation that should send a chill down the spines of world leaders.
They indicated that while aware of similar actions employed against activists and journalists, it was now clear that even those at the highest levels of power cannot escape what they called the sinister spread of NSO’s spyware – an Israeli tech firm.
Amnesty has called for the institution of a robust human rights-compliant regulatory framework.
High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet warned that the misuse of surveillance technology that allows for these types of hacks could undermine people’s rights and subvert democratic societies.