How The Wire and Its Partners Cracked the Pegasus Project

Siddharth Varadarajan in The Wire:

In hindsight, it was only fitting that a story about surveillance and spyware in India should have begun with more than a touch of cloak and dagger.

Sometime in the middle of March, Sandhya Ravishankar, a reporter who had done a series of stories for The Wire on the sand mining mafia in Tamil Nadu, and who I knew and trusted, called me with a single question: “Do you have an iPhone?”

When I said yes, she said she wanted to fly up from Chennai right away to meet me and my fellow founding editor at The Wire, M.K. Venu. She said she couldn’t say anything about the purpose of the meeting but I guessed from her reticence that it was about something important.

On the appointed day, she came home and promptly asked that we switch off our telephones and place them in another room. Then, via a secure video link, she connected me to Sandrine Rigaud and Phineas Rueckert, two editors from the French media non-profit, Forbidden Stories, who explained that based on records they had accessed, they had good reason to believe our smartphones might be infected with the deadly spyware, Pegasus.

More here.