Presidency declines to comment on Ramphosa phone surveillance revelations

Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories have revealed a massive wave of attacks by cyber-surveillance company, the NSO Group, on smartphones, potentially exposing politicians, journalists and activists all over the world.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency has declined to comment on Wednesday morning on explosive revelations that President Cyril Ramaphosa was among 14 heads of state selected as so-called " people of interest" by clients of spyware company, The NSO Group.

Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories have revealed a massive wave of attacks by the cyber-surveillance company on smartphones, potentially exposing politicians, journalists and activists all over the world.

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This is according to investigations by a group of 80 journalists from 10 countries under the banner, the Pegasus Project.

The group is reporting that these targeted individuals, including Ramaphosa, are at risk of having their whereabouts monitored and their personal information being used against them.

It's being reported that the NSO Group's spyware has been used to facilitate human rights violations around the world.

According to the leak, 50,000 phone numbers of potential surveillance targets had been identified.

Director of Amnesty International in South Africa, Shenilla Mohamed: "The unprecedented revelations should send a chill down the spines of world leaders. We have long known that journalists and activists are targets of surreptitious phone hacking but it is clear that even those at the highest levels of world power can not escape the sinister spread of NSO spyware."

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