Two lessons from Pegasus

Espionage has always been an inexhaustible source of ideas for novelists and filmmakers. Especially since the material continues to evolve under the effect of technological progress. In 1952, Communist deputy Jacques Duclos was accused of transmitting information to Moscow by carrier pigeons. Today, Israeli software is used to hack tens of thousands of cell phones, even targeting a device used by Emmanuel Macron. There is enough to feed a very beautiful summer soap opera.

In the Pegasus affair, revealed by an international media consortium including The world and Radio France, two aspects particularly nourish reflection. The first concerns the lack of mistrust that our cell phones inspire in us. Appeared barely fifteen years ago, “smart phones” (smartphones) have become widespread at an incredible speed, without giving users the time to learn how to use them intelligently. They are, in a way, toys, used without great care. Pegasus puts the risks we are taking right in front of us.

The other striking aspect is to discover that this type of electronic espionage is no longer the prerogative of the great state powers. Software like Pegasus puts it within reach of many other players. Rather states at this stage. But not only. In any case, we can measure the risks of manipulation to which such technologies expose us. Russian hackers are suspected of having favored the election of Donald Trump in 2016. At the dawn of an election year, France would do well to think about its digital security.


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