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Investigative Journalist | Writer | Researcher | Speaker |
Covering disinformation, Wikipedia, digital arms and spyware
Omer Benjakob is an investigative journalist for Haaretz, Israel's sole newspaper of record, focused on the intersection of politics and technology. He covers disinformation, cyber and surveillance and has participated in a number of international investigations, among them the award-winning Project Pegasus - into misuse of the spyware made by the NSO Group and sold to governments across the world - and “Team Jorge” - a groundbreaking undercover investigation into the private market of disinformation market and the digital mercenaries offering election interference as a service.
His investigation into the sale of spyware to a militia in Sudan was shortlisted for the EU's European Press Prize for investigative journalism (2023). He is also a researcher and his writing on Wikipedia has also appeared in WIRED UK, the Columbia Journalism Review and MIT Press, and his research in academic publications.
Born in New York and raised in Tel Aviv, he lives in Jaffa with his wife and teaches in a local college in Israel. He is also an associate research fellow at the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity (LPI) in Paris, a research institute affiliated with the Université Paris Cité focused on open science. In 2023, as part of a group of three undercover reporters, Benjakob helped reveal "Team Jorge", an international cyber mercenary group offering election disruption and disinformation services to private clients across the world. The investigation, which was also published in Der Spiegel, Le Monde and The Guardian, revealed for the first time the existence of this industry and exposed never-before-seen "disinformation technologies". The project followed up on his work on spyware producers like the NSO Group (Pegasus) and Intellexa (Predator) and how information is weaponized in the digital age.
He lectures in English and in Hebrew about technology and politics, with a focus on Israeli spyware, the surveillance industry, disinformation and influence operations, the history of the internet and Wikipedia.
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