Published at the dawn of the Cold War, George Orwell’s 1984 offered a stark warning about the dire personal and societal impacts of mass surveillance. Orwell’s words proved prescient, as many of his dystopian predictions would begin to take shape in the ensuing decades. Governments and corporations have amassed unprecedented and largely unchecked information-gathering power, making true privacy an increasingly aspirational endeavor. Both authoritarian and democratic regimes have weaponized cutting-edge software to spy and suppress. Today, a software named Pegasus is many despots’ tool of choice. Developed by an Israeli firm for the stated purpose of combating crime, Pegasus can covertly breach a target’s device and track their calls, texts, and location. Less advanced malware requires an unassuming victim to open a virus-laden link or email to gain access; Pegasus’s ‘zero-click’ exploit bypasses this requirement completely. Governments have wasted no time abusing this power, spying on reporters, officials, and activists. Revelations about Pegasus have revived conversations about the dire and unexplored free speech consequences of this trend.