United States Agency for Global Media (USAGM), has expressed outrage at reports that over 180 journalists – including those of VOA and Radio Free Europe – appear to have been targeted by sophisticated military software.
“Targeting the private conversations of journalists in any way is unconscious,” said USAGM Acting Executive Director Kelu Chao. “This violation must end and the safety of journalists must be protected.”
USAGM networks include VOA, Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, the Broadcasting Bureau for Cuba, the Middle East Broadcasting Network, and the nonprofit Internet Freedom Organization, the Open Technology Fund.
The research was conducted by the Paris-based non-governmental organization Forbidden Stories, with the technical support of the international human rights organization, Amnesty International. The software, called Pegasus, was developed by the Israeli company NSO Group.
The Washington Post, which is part of the consortium, reported that among the targeted journalists were some from VOA. A new report from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, which is also part of the consortium, says the Azerbaijani government has used Pegasus software to spy on hundreds of local activists and journalists, including five current and former Radio correspondents. Free Europe. Among them is Khadija Ismayilova, the former chief of staff of Radio Free Europe and one of the country’s most well-known investigative journalists.
The research was conducted by the Paris-based NGO Forbidden Stories, with technical support from the international human rights organization Amnesty International.
“New technology should help journalists do their job better and not be used to spy on and harass them,” Chao said. / VOA