On November 30, 2022, the Knight Institute filed a lawsuit on behalf of current and former journalists and other members of El Faro—one of Central America’s foremost independent news organizations, based in El Salvador—who were the victims of spyware attacks using NSO Group’s Pegasus technology. This case is the first filed by journalists against NSO Group in a U.S. court.
The lawsuit alleges that NSO Group and its parent company violated U.S. law by developing, selling, and assisting in the deployment of Pegasus against the plaintiffs. Between June 2020 and November 2021, El Faro’s employees, including the plaintiffs in this case, were subjected to 226 Pegasus infections. Through these attacks, their iPhones were accessed remotely and surreptitiously, their communications and activities were monitored, and their personal data was accessed and stolen. As described in the complaint, the attacks intensified around El Faro’s publication of major stories. The lawsuit asks the court to order NSO Group to identify, return, and then delete all information it obtained through the attacks, and to order NSO Group to identify the clients that ordered the surveillance.
Status: Amended complaint filed on December 16, 2022.
Case Information: Dada v. NSO Group, No. 3:22-cv-07513 (N.D. Cal.).