Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Mihir Sharma

Pegasus Scandal Should Be a Wake-Up Call for U.S.

Right now, the scruples of U.S. tech companies are protecting activists and dissidents. The U.S. government needs to do its part.

The U.S. needs to be more careful about where its surveillance technology ends up. 

The U.S. needs to be more careful about where its surveillance technology ends up. 

Photographer: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Of the 50,000 phone numbers that were, according to a consortium of investigative journalists, possible targets for surveillance using the Israeli company NSO Group Ltd.’s Pegasus spyware, apparently not one had a +1 prefix. NSO says it can’t — or doesn’t — hack U.S.-based smartphones. You might think, therefore, this is not a problem the United States needs to worry about.

In fact, the future of surveillance — which, as the investigation documented, is being targeted at dissidents and activists as much as terrorists and criminals — will be determined by decisions made in the U.S.