Morocco announced that it had filed a lawsuit before the Criminal Court in Paris against Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International, on charges of defamation, against the backdrop of allegations of spying in the Pegasus program file.
Counsel appointed by the Kingdom to follow up on the case declared in a statement sent to Agence France-Presse, that “The Kingdom of Morocco and its Ambassador to France Chaquib Benmousa have commissioned Olivier Baratelli to raise two direct calls for defamation ” Two organizations against the background of accusing Rabat of espionage using a program developed by the Israeli company “NSO”.
The first procedural hearing before the Press Law Department is scheduled for October 8, but the trial is not expected to begin nearly two years earlier.
“The Kingdom of Morocco intends to submit the file to the French judiciary as it seeks to shed light on the false allegations of these two organizations, which presented elements without any substantive and substantive evidence,” Baratelli said.
On Wednesday, Morocco announced it was resorting to a “judicial effort” following the publication of new media reports indicating it was involved in using the “Pegasus” spyware program to target the phones of public figures. Maybe, including King Mohammed VI and the French. President Emmanuel Macron.
On Tuesday, Radio France reported that Morocco’s King Mohammed VI and his close associates were “on the list of potential targets” of the “Pegasus” programme, which was used to spy on journalists, human rights defenders and politicians.
Le Monde newspaper also said on Tuesday that the phone numbers of French President Emmanuel Macron and members of his government were “on a list of numbers selected by the Moroccan State Security Service to use Pegasus spyware.”
drafting Presidential New
For his part, French President Emmanuel Macron turned his smartphone on Thursday to avoid any possible intrusion, in the French state’s first practical response after spyware was detected.
“They have multiple phone numbers. That doesn’t mean they were spied on, but (steps were taken) for greater security,” a French presidential official told Reuters.
French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said the protocol to protect the French presidency was modified to suit the disclosure of the espionage program.
“Of course we take this issue very seriously,” Atal told reporters.
The General Secretariat for Defense and National Security, specifically the Inter-Ministerial Information Systems Management Authority, is responsible for providing the means of communication for the executive authority (the President and the Government) in France, whether for use in telephone communications or exchange. facts while doing
The confidential, inter-ministerial Information Systems Management Authority also provides the means to communicate securely with other governments.
Digital security experts point out that it is not easy to access phones placed within reach of executive branch members, which justifies some people’s tendency to use their own personal phones.
Macron has several personal smartphones that are “regularly changed, updated and secured”, a security source commented to AFP.
The source states that the phone’s security settings are “restricted to the maximum extent possible, and application downloading is disabled as well as remote downloading.”
The fragility of digital security
The Pegasus case joins a series of espionage cases that have rocked the world over the years.
With the development of digital technologies, it has become extremely difficult to maintain the security of confidential intelligence or government information, and this appears with each new leaked “scam”.
In 2013, former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden uncovered thousands of classified documents that exposed widespread US espionage following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Documents revealed that several officials, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, were under surveillance.
In June 2015, documents released by WikiLeaks revealed that US intelligence services had spied on three French presidents, Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande, for several years.
In the spring of 2021, the Danish Public Broadcasting Corporation, in collaboration with several other European media outlets, revealed that the US National Security Agency wiretaped Danish underwater Internet cables from 2012 to 2014 to spy on senior politicians in Germany, Sweden, Norway Was. and France.
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