A member of the House of Lords is among more than 400 people whose UK mobile phone numbers appear in a leaked list of numbers identified by NSO Group’s client governments between 2017 and 2019, the Guardian can reveal.
The principal government responsible for selecting the UK numbers appears to be the United Arab Emirates, according to analysis of the data. The UAE is one of 40 countries that had access to the NSO spyware that is able to hack into and secretly take control of a mobile phone.
Dubai, the emirate city ruled by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is also believed to have been an NSO client.
The phones of Sheikh Mohammed’s daughter Princess Latifa, who launched a failed bid to escape Dubai in 2018, and his ex-wife Princess Haya, who fled the country and came to the UK in 2019, both appear in the data.
So too do the phones of several associates of both women – including, in the case of Haya, mostly UK-based numbers.
In multiple statements, NSO said that the fact that a number appeared on the leaked list was in no way indicative of whether a number was targeted for surveillance using Pegasus. “The list is not a list of Pegasus targets or potential targets,” the company said. “The numbers in the list are not related to NSO group in any way.”