📑 We Need To Talk About The Insecurity Industry

Bookmarked We Need To Talk About The Insecurity Industry by Edward Snowden (Continuing Ed — with Edward Snowden)

Prior to this week’s Pegasus Project, a global reporting effort by major newspapers to expose the fatal consequences of the NSO Group—the new private-sector face of an out-of-control Insecurity Industry—most smartphone manufacturers along with much of the world press collectively rolled their eyes at me whenever I publicly identified a fresh-out-of-the-box iPhone as a potentially lethal threat.

Edward Snowden responds to news of the Pegasus Project.

Pegasus is the hacking software – or spyware – that is developed, marketed and licensed to governments around the world by the Israeli company NSO Group. It has the capability to infect billions of phones running either iOS or Android operating systems.

The earliest version of Pegasus discovered, which was captured by researchers in 2016, infected phones through what is called spear-phishing – text messages or emails that trick a target into clicking on a malicious link.

Snowden argues that this is validation to what he has been saying for a long time, that the “phone in your hand exists in a state of perpetual insecurity, open to infection by anyone willing to put money in the hand of this new Insecurity Industry.” The challenge ahead is incentivising change and introducing a level of liability. A part of this is getting governments to understand that subsidising such organisations does not serve their purpose.

If we don’t do anything to stop the sale of this technology, it’s not just going to be 50,000 targets: It’s going to be 50 million targets, and it’s going to happen much more quickly than any of us expect.

The Guardian have also shared a number of posts and podcasts unpacking the topic further.

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