Oct 6, 2021
Who’s really listening — Reporting when your phone is the enemy
Play • 32 min

“If you're targeted by Pegasus, you see nothing, you smell nothing, you taste nothing. You’re minding your own business, doing whatever it is that you do with your phone. And then it’s infected.”  

It might sound cloak-and-dagger, but cyber security expert John Scott-Railton says spyware poses a very real threat to journalists’ ability to do their jobs. 

The Pegasus Project, an international coalition of journalists, has found around 200 journalists are potential targets for surveillance by the malicious spyware. 

Founding Editor of India’s The Wire Siddharth Varadarajan was among them. He received the disturbing news his phone had been infected, giving remote users access to his every text, call... and contact. 

“As journalists, phones are an extension of our bodies... And what we found is that the sense of intrusion and violation is profound.”  

But does the fear of surveillance have the potential to be as dangerous to a free press as the spyware itself? 

In this episode of Journo, host Nick Bryant investigates the technology being used to monitor and intimidate those holding power to account — and finds a coalition of allies who’ve banded together to resist the digital incursion. 

Journo is a production of Deadset Studios for the Judith Neilson Institute

Grab your press pass: Journo helps you understand how your news is made, disseminated, and consumed. 

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