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EU’s Vestager brushes off spyware threat

The EU’s top digital affairs official Margrethe Vestager on Thursday appeared to downplay the threat of being spied on using software like Pegasus, saying that her phone and devices only hold “boring” information.

“Most of my feed is so boring that even if you had access to it, you would think: ‘Oh my god, this woman she has no life,'” she said, speaking at POLITICO’s AI and Tech Summit.

Her comments come just days after revelations that scores of political figures in Catalonia had their devices tapped using Pegasus spyware. The region’s president Pere Aragonès is already seeking support from the EU Commission to up the pressure on the Spanish government to investigate allegations that Madrid was behind the espionage activity. And last week Reuters also reported that senior EU officials were also targeted by the spyware.

The Pegasus technology, built by Israeli firm NSO Group, allows users mostly in national authorities to gain access to victims’ phones, including encrypted messages, and to activate the camera and microphone without any action by the victim.

The Danish politician did say she and her colleagues were careful to take precautions against the spyware, like leaving phones and devices out of the room for confidential discussions.

“The Commission of course, our services, they do their best to protect every one of us,” she said.

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