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Ex-Qatar PM says phone was 'monitored' for years

Ex-Qatar Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani [Sean Gallup/Getty Images]
Ex-Qatar Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani [Sean Gallup/Getty Images]

The former prime minister of Qatar, Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani, said he knows that "his phone has been monitored for years".

In the wake of the Pegasus spyware revelations, Al Thani said on Twitter that "reports by media outlets and officials in many countries concerning espionage software that have spread in our region in particular, and in other regions, raise many questions."

Al Thani said while it might be normal for countries to follow up with or monitor states or persons who might affect their security through responsible agencies and under the supervision of trusted people, "however some countries use espionage software for other purposes".

He added that he is fully aware that his mobile phone has been "monitored" for years by those "who wish to play".

Pegasus can switch on a phone's camera or microphone and harvest its data.

The malware is at the centre of a storm after a list of about 50,000 potential surveillance targets was leaked to human rights groups, according to details of the investigation uncovering the hacking by the Pegasus Project, a ground-breaking collaboration by more than 80 journalists from 17 media organisations in ten countries. The group's work was co-ordinated by Forbidden Stories, a Paris-based non-profit media organisation, and Amnesty International.

Pegasus is spyware sold by Israel's NSO Group which gained notoriety following the killing of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi almost three years ago.

READ: Pegasus spyware and the consequences for privacy

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IsraelMiddle EastNewsQatarUAE
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