The National Commission for Personal Data Protection Control (CNDP), which is examining allegations of use of Pegasus spyware by Morocco, will hear a new international expert in Strategic Intelligence on Friday, as part of its hearings. Citizen Lab, which accuses Morocco, was called to be heard.
A new expert must be heard in the case of the media campaign directed against Morocco, accusing it of having spied on personalities, including journalists and foreign officials. This campaign is led by Citizen Lab, Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories, which have joined forces to harm Morocco, particularly in the Rachid M’Barki affair.
The CNDP did not reveal the identity of the expert in Strategic Intelligence specializing in the impact of malicious cyber interference, linked to intrusive actions, and on the significance of geo-economic conflicts, but it explains that the hearing will focus on the theme of ethical rules relating to the problems of attribution.
This activity, makes it possible to assign responsibilities after observations of technical traces, indicates the commission which also conducted a series of meetings and heard a large number of experts, and studied the documents provided by Amnesty International which accuse Morocco.
In its communication, the CNDP recalled that the first hearings held with national and international experts revealed the importance of work on the technical aspect in order to understand the different mechanisms, according to “a dispassionate, impartial approach that is far from everything a priori”, adding that this work has begun to bear fruit.
After listening to national and international experts and studying various reports and testimonies, according to the usual scientific, technical and ethical standards, the first results of this work will be made public as soon as they are finalized, the CNDP said.
Before this new expert, the CNDP had received an American expert, Jonathan Scott, at the origin of a report published in open access explaining that the accusations of espionage targeting Morocco are false.
During his hearing, the American expert indicated that he was a member of the internal circle of Amnesty International, and that he had been approached by a member of the Frontline Defenders to teach forensic analysis to human rights activists.
He claimed to have been subsequently contacted, a certain “Etienne”, a contact of the member of the Frontline Defenders, who asked him for help in identifying the Pegasus spyware. Jonathan Scott explained that this famous Etienne did not know how to extract data from a device and that when he began to ask questions about the reports of these organizations, he was put aside from the internal circles of these groups .
“That’s why I shared everything publicly explaining that this member, named Etienne, does not know what he is doing and that the Frontline Defenders and Citizen Lab are misidentifying the Pegasus,” he added. .
Johnathan Scott told the Commission that Citizen Lab and Amnesty International have a strong community and that there are only a few people who will stand against them, “for fear of losing their place in this industry”.
The American expert faced strong criticism from the circles of these organizations when he published his research online which proves that their accusations targeting Morocco were fabricated.
It should be noted that the Spanish government has formally rejected the accusations designating Morocco as a party involved in the Pegasus spy case, the EFE news agency reported on Thursday.
Sources within the Spanish government have described as “pure speculation” any information relating to the involvement of a third country, in particular the Kingdom of Morocco, in the Pegasus espionage affair targeting members of the Spanish government, in particular President Pedro Sánchez and the Ministers of Interior, Defense and Agriculture, as revealed by the Iberian press in the wake of this affair which was revealed by French media.