Pegasus Snooping: End Global Spyware Trade

More than 150 organisations and people of conscience from across the world have come together to launch a campaign targeting NSO Group’s Pegasus, serving Israel’s apartheid and exported to be used against dissenting voices globally. The campaign demands an end to all spyware trade.

They’re not security products. They’re not providing any kind of protection, any kind of prophylactic. They don’t make vaccines – the only thing they sell is the virus.”

– Edward Snowden on commercial spyware

The Pegasus investigation has revealed the pervasive extent to which Israeli cyberweapons have been deployed against journalists, human rights defenders, opposition leaders and heads of states across the world. Quite unlike what the makers of such spywares have claimed, it is quite clear that Pegasus was used principally by authoritarian regimes or such figures within governments, and only for de-democratic ends: to weaken people’s voices and to suppress both truth and their tellers. 

It is no surprise that the presence of Pegasus or its instrumental role can be found in the grossest of violations in today’s time: symbolized in the brazen murder of journalists Jamal Khashoggi and Cecilio Pineda Birto. Investigations  in 2016 and in 2021 reflect that half the countries in the world have deployed Pegasus against whoever they thought were threats to their authority. Between 2016 and now, despite multiple lawsuits and condemnations by global bodies, NSO Group has continued to thrive, receive endorsement by Israel, and is now part of the unicorn club of startups with a valuation of 1 billion dollars.

But NSO Group is just the tip of the iceberg. What was once the preserve of the most elite state intelligence units and security companies seeking to protect resources and people from getting hacked, the production and export of ‘intrusion softwares’ is now an unregulated global industry worth billions of dollars in world trade. The sums are reflective of the proliferation of such weapons that seek to hand over our most intimate thoughts and actions to regimes that are willing to pay to control them. And the proliferation shows: over the last few years such spywares have been instrumental in the breakup of protests, deportations, torture and killings in Honkong, Egypt, Myanmar, Nigeria Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Ethiopia Libya, Turkey, Hungary, and the United states to name a few. We cannot forget India here which has not just used Pegasus against the entire breath of the opposition to the current Hindu nationalist regime, but also used spyware to criminalize activists who have spent their lifetimes working with and for the people- among them 83- years old Jesuit priest, Fr Stan Swamy who died in judicial custody last month.  

The shock of being deceived, all over the world, is yet to sink in: how could such anti-people spyware be developed, exported, and bought by governments with public money, and then weaponized against our best voices? As the stories of the weaponization of these intrusions still unfold, below are a few ideas we are quite sure of:

  • There is no question of ‘misuse’ of spyware/ cyberweapons: such technologies are designed for repression. Produced and sold in the name of security, these technologies are systematically used for mass surveillance as well as targeted spying and decapacitation as has been publicly known since Edward Snowden’s revelations on US National Security Agency.
  • It is no coincidence that Israel is the market leader and fountainhead of such military wares being sold to the world. Like the NSO Group, multiple Israeli cyberwares companies are founded and staffed by Israeli military forces’ Unit 8200 that is responsible for cyberespionage. Like NSO, these companies work collaboratively with the Israeli Defence Ministry. Patronized by the Israeli apartheid state and part of its diplomacy, these companies critically assist the Israeli regimes’ settler colonialism in the region. Why are Israeli weapons the market leader? The illegal occupation, apartheid and settler colonialism against Palestinians provides the perfect ‘sample population’ for the research, development, and ‘field testing’ of such technologies of subjugation, particularly cyberweapons, such as Pegasus.

The only possible response to the unanimity with which governments across the world are legitimizing the use of such weapons, is an international solidarity of peoples and grassroots struggles, particularly those targeted by such spyware because of their defence of human rights and for speaking truth to power. What we want is a complete halt, a global moratorium on the production and trade of such weapons, echoing the call that UN experts, human rights bodies, media institutions, scholars, and civil society groups from across the world have made.

It is time that we are able to see through the facade of ‘security’ to clearly see these weapons for what they are: tools of repression, whose only purpose is to silence peoples voices. We Must put an end to such weapons! 

In the past such efforts have ended police training exchange programs with Israel, pressured governments to end contracts with Israeli arms companies and brought together people’s tribunals on Israel’s aid to militarization in Latin America.  Only a global, intersectional struggle can put a halt to the proliferation of the indefensible spyware industry. 

Our struggles are connected and we stand stronger together.

Read the statement in Spanish here.

List of Signatories:


1 Abdul Mabood
2 Abhayraj Naik
3 Achin Vanaik
4 Adoor Gopalakrishnan
5 Alberto Daniel Teszkiewicz
6 Alfredo
7 Anat Matar
8 Andrew Ross
9 Anita Dighe
10 Anita Dighe
11 Anupama P
12 Aravinda p
13 Arun K Sinha
14 Arup Kumar Sen
15 Ashley Tellis
16 ashok sharma
17 Aslam Shibli
18 Atamjit Singh
19 Atua Naikwadi
20 Atul Gurtu
21 Avani Chokshi
22 Avinash Patil, MANS
23 Ayesha Samah
24 Beatriz Bissio
26 Bill V. Mullen
27 Bolan Gangopadhyay
28 Chandrakant Patil
29 Chirag Shah
30 Cynthia Franklin
31 D.Narasimha Reddy
32 Damodar Mauzo
33 daniel capuccio
34 Debjani Sengupta
35 Devaki Khanna
36 Devdan Chaudhuri
37 Dilip Hota
38 Dipankar Mukhopadhyay
39 Dr Sylvia Karpagam
40 Dr. Mohan Rao
41 Éabha Rosenstock
42 Edith Breslauer
43 Fatema
44 Feliciano Castaño Villar
45 Felip Gascón
46 firoz
47 Gabriel Rosenstock
48 Gabriele Dietrich
49 Geeta Kapur
50 Geeta Seshu
51 George Mathen
52 Ghanshyam Shah
53 Gita Subramanian
54 Githa Hariharan
55 Goldy M George
56 Gopal S
57 Gunjan zutshi
58 Gurvinder singh
59 Hanita Carolin Hendelman
60 Harini Srinivasan
61 Harsh Mander
62 Hersh Sewak
63 Hiren Gandhi
64 Humayun Mursal
65 Humayun Mursal
66 Indira Chandrasekhar
67 Indranee Dutta
68 Indrapramit Das
69 Irene Abugattas
70 Jeroo Mulla
71 John King
72 Joyce Ajlouny
73 Jyothi A
74 K M Ashraf
75 K Satchidanandan
76 Kalpana Kannabiran
77 Kasturi Sen
78 Khaleelullah
79 Laxminarayana VN
80 Lmossayer mohamed
81 Luis
82 Madhu Bhaduri
83 Manavi Atri
84 Marcy Newman
85 N. Jayaram
86 Nandini Sundar
87 Nasir Tyabji
88 Navdeep Mathur
89 Neta Golan
90 Nisha Biswas
91 Nizamuddin
92 Ofer Neiman
93 Orijit Sen
94 Pamela Philipose
95 Ram Sharan Joshi
96 Ramana Murthy Ruakula
97 Ravi Shanker N
98 Rekha Awasthi
99 Richard
100 S Gurudutt
101 S. Durga Bhavani
102 Sagari Ramdas
103 Salim Yusufji
104 Samik Bandyopadhyayp
105 Santanu Chacraverti
106 Sharad Behar
107 Shaul Tcherikover
108 Shekar
109 Sigal Kook Avivi
110 Simona Sawhney
111 Sion Assidon
112 Sowmya Dechamma C C
113 Stephen Aberle
114 Stephen Aberle
115 Sumanta Banerjee
116 Sutanuka Ghosh
117 Suy Wong
118 Svati Joshi
119 Swathi Shivanand
120 Swati Goswami
121 Tali Shapiro
122 Tapan Kumar Bose
123 Tirthankar Mukherjee
124 Uma Chakravarti
125 Umaira banu
126 Vandana Srivastava
127 Veronica Dsouza
128 Vidya Dinker
129 Vijay Gudavarthy
130 Vinay Bharadwaj
131 Vinay Sreenivasa
132 Vinaya Malati Hari
133 Waqas Khwaja
134 Yousuf Saeed
135 Zaheer Ali Syed


136 BDS France
137 BDS India
138 Boycott from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS)
139 Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)
140 Indian Writers Forum
141 People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL-India)
142 Red de Integración Orgánica-RIO
143 Red de Solidaridad con Palestina – Costa Rica
144 Tierra Comun


145 Ana Rosa Moreno BDS México
146 Dr. A. I. Khan Science For Society (SFS), Jharkhand
147 Edetaen Ojo Media Rights Agenda
148 Farha shah INSAF
149 Farida Nabourema Togolese Civil League
150 Felipe Alvarado Diaz y La Otra Comunidad
151 German Jovenes con Palestina
152 Javier Tolcachier Centro de Estudios Humanistas de Córdoba
153 Joyce Ajlouny American Friends Service Committee (Quakers)
154 Kavita Srivastava PUCL
155 Magaly Navarrete Ramírez Pressenza, International Press Agency
156 Nelsy Lizarazo Pressenza, International Press Agency
157 Ravi Kiran Jain PUCL
158 Sion Assidon BDS Maroc
159 Suneet Chopra All India Agricultural Workers Union
160 V Suresh PUCL
161 Varghese Joseph Indian social Action Forum -INSAF