Catalan parliament speaker Roger Torrent and Barcelona councilor and Catalan MP Ernest Maragall, both of left-wing pro-independence party Esquerra Republicana, have filed a complaint against the former head of Spain’s intelligence service (CNI), Félix Sánz Roldán. A complaint has also been lodged against NSO Group, the Israeli company that owns the government-grade spyware, Pegasus, which is thought to have been used to hack their phones in the spring of 2019.
The lawsuit claims that Roldán and the NSO Group were involved in an unauthorized intrusion into computer equipment, illegal interception of communications, computer espionage as well as production and acquisition of spyware. Torrent, Maragall, and another pro-independence activist’s phones were targeted using spyware that experts say is only sold to governments to track criminals and terrorists, as revealed by The Guardian and El País.
According to the joint investigation, the spyware exploited a vulnerability in Whatsapp software that would give potential access to everything on the targeted mobile phone, from emails and text messages to the camera and recorder—thus opening the possibility of turning the phone into a spying device.