Updated: Cyber-snooping

18 07 2022

A few days ago we posted on agreements between the military-backed government and the cyber agencies of China and Israel.

On the agreement with Israel, a new revelation of cyber-snooping in Thailand aimed at political and monarchy reform activists, shows the use of the Pegasus spyware developed by Israeli security firm NSO.

Clipped from Popular Mechanics

The report states:

At least 30 Thai activists involved in pro-democracy protests were victims of Pegasus spyware during a government crackdown on dissent, according to an investigation by a group of internet watchdog organisations.

The individuals – who include academics, activists and civil society leaders – were monitored by an unnamed entity using the Israeli-made software during the past two years, according to the results of a forensic investigation released on Monday.

The results of the investigation came out yesterday in a seminar in Bangkok. See more here, including links to the report and the list of those who, so far, have been identified as victims.

Canada’s Citizen Lab and Thai NGOs iLaw and DigitalReach investigated “after six Thai activists received notifications from Apple in November 2021 advising that they had been the victims of ‘state-sponsored attacks’ intent on distributing malware.”

Citizen Lab “could not definitively tie the spyware attack to the Thai government but its investigators concluded there is at least one known Pegasus operator currently in Thailand.” NSO says it only sells the spyware to governments:

Emilie Pradichit, founder of the Manushya Foundation, a Bangkok-based human rights non-profit, said it would be “no surprise” for the Thai government to target its critics with spyware.

The government’s goal is to truly put an end to the pro-democracy movement by exhausting activists physically and mentally in order to maintain the establishment in power,” Pradichit told Al Jazeera.

“Now, more than ever, we must mobilize and join forces to resist Thailand’s digital dictatorship and ensure pro-democracy activists remain strong and brave and can care for themselves as a priority.”

Update: After initial denials, the regime has admitted it uses Pegasus. In a surprise, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, “said in parliament late on Tuesday that he is aware of authorities using spyware in “limited” cases but did not specify which government agency used such software, which programme was used or which individuals targeted.” We all know who is being targeted -the regime/monarchy’s opponents. Chaiwat admitted this when he said the program was used in matters regarding national security. That’s now code for the monarchy.

And we can guess that the users are the military/ISOC/palace associated units.



One response

22 07 2022
Regime cyber-spying | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] commenting on the regime’s Pegasus hacking of his phone, Prajak Kongkirati, an academic at Thammasat University, told VOA News: “It’s very […]

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