Pegasus Affair: Spain Rejects Unfounded Accusations against Morocco – EFE
Spanish government sources rejected unfounded accusations against Morocco or any other country in connection with the use of the Pegasus spyware, said Spanish news agency EFE on Wednesday. These government sources described as “mere speculation” any attempt to accuse a third country, especially Morocco, of using Pegasus spyware on members of the Spanish Government, such as the head of the Government or the Ministers of Interior, Defense and Agriculture. The accusations of spying with the Pegasus system against several countries have been the subject of legal and scientific criticism. The sources, therefore, see no basis for these accusations to be built on. In this context, U.S. cybersecurity expert Jonathan Scott had recently pointed out “methodological and scientific flaws” that are inherent in the approach taken by Citizen Lab, Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories. These flaws led such institutions to adopt conclusions that are “more allegations than science” about the alleged use of the Pegasus system by certain countries. Scott, who published a report bearing the title “Exonerating Morocco – Disproving the Spyware” on February 18, had stated that Citizen Lab’s allegations are “totally unfounded” and “lack the most basic elements of scientific proof.” In this regard, U.S. attorney for the New York Bar Tor Ekeland had also claimed that the alleged evidence provided by the aforementioned organizations was “inadmissible” by a U.S. federal court, as it was based on “shoddy science.” “The first thing a U.S. court does when looking at scientific evidence is to see if it respects the principle of reproducibility,” he had said. However, he pointed out that Citizen Lab’s results cannot be reproduced in any way, which is in itself a “red flag.” New York-based Canadian lawyer Michael Hassard, also specializing in computer issues, had also explained that when scientific evidence is submitted for analysis, it is often subject to “confirmation bias.” Scientific methods of analyzing evidence in the cybersecurity and IT fields are relatively new and far from infallible, Hassard had said.