Paul Kagame: “The spy phone software is too expensive for me”

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has responded to allegations that he has been spying on opponents over the phone, saying that the technology needed to do so is too expensive.

Speaking at a press conference in the capital Kigali Friday, Kagame said he wanted to be able to afford the technology “to learn more” about his enemies.

A Rwandan exile living in the UK told the BBC last week that he was a victim of WhatsApp hacking. Faustin Rukundo said he and his fellow members of the Rwandan National Congress – a group opposing the Rwandan government – were targeted by the courier service.

Citizen Lab, a research group at the University of Toronto, confirmed that he would have been targeted.

WhatsApp has accused the Israeli company NSO Group of sending malware to some 1,400 cell phones for surveillance purposes.

Its spyware Pegasus can remotely and secretly extract valuable information from mobile devices, by sharing all phone activities – including communications and location data – with the attacker. A certain number of the people targeted are from Rwanda.

The NSO Group has denied any wrongdoing, claiming that its Pegasus spyware has only been sold to approved customers.

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