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Spyware Finally Got Scary Enough to Freak Lawmakers Out—After It Spied on Them

NSO Group’s Pegasus software was used routinely to listen in on conversations with US, UK and EU officials, prompting investigations into abuses of its shockingly affordable military-grade surveillance.

Carine Kanimba at her family home in Brussels. 

Carine Kanimba at her family home in Brussels. 

Photographer: Eva Verbeeck for Bloomberg Businessweek

Carine Kanimba used to dismiss her dad’s warnings to watch her back as parental overprotectiveness. While she knew he had enemies back in Rwanda, she was intent on enjoying her 20s, with the nights out to prove it. Someone had broken into the family home in Brussels, but she was working a finance job in New York, where the threat felt remote. “We all would say, like, ‘we get it, but we’re fine,’ ” she says.

Kanimba’s father had better reason than most dads to be careful. He’s Paul Rusesabagina, the former manager of the Hôtel des Milles Collines in Kigali who famously sheltered hundreds of people fleeing Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Rusesabagina adopted Kanimba and her brother after their biological parents died in the pogroms with 800,000 others. The family stayed in Rwanda for a couple of years after that, until an assassination attempt drove them to seek asylum in Belgium and, later, settle in San Antonio. Starting in 2004, after Don Cheadle played him in Hotel Rwanda, Rusesabagina became, if not a household name, one of Rwanda’s most famous exiles. He spoke about his experience to human-rights groups and at political confabs around the world. George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.