PARIS, (Sputnik) – UNESCO allocated $35,000 for the Paris-based Forbidden Stories organization which investigated Pegasus spyware, the agency confirmed to Sputnik on Thursday.
The pan-African Jeune Afrique media previously reported that UNESCO could have participated in the investigation by Forbidden Stories.
UNESCO confirmed $35,000 had been allocated to Forbidden Stories through the Global Media Defense Fund. The nonprofit organization was chosen along with 44 other projects by the Fund in 2020, the UNESCO press office said, noting the data had been published on the organization’s website a few months ago.
However, UNESCO added that it was not aware of the essense of the investigation which received the funding. According to UNESCO, the protection of journalistic independence is of fundamental value, and it aims at supporting journalists all over the world.
Over 80 journalists from Forbidden Stories assisted by the Amnesty International technical laboratory made an inquiry into Pegasus software which spied on over 50,000 users world-wide. It was found out that the software produced by the Israeli NSO Group targeted politicians, businesspeople, activists, opposition leaders, journalists from various countries. According to NSO Group, the software was designed to track criminals and terrorists by special agencies.