Fresh spyware allegations show need for thorough Pegasus investigation

Author: Caroline Rhawi

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PEGA PIX

Today, the European Parliament started its essential work to investigate the abuse of Pegasus Spyware by EU Governments.

In light of fresh allegations of the use of surveillance tools against citizens, journalists and politicians, the importance and urgency of the new Pegasus Inquiry Committee (PEGA), initiated by Renew Europe, is greater than ever.

We are pleased that our political group has secured some key positions. Moritz Körner (FDP, Germany) was today elected as third Vice President and Sophie in ‘t Veld (D66, Netherlands) is expected to be appointed as rapporteur to draft the PEGA report. The report will investigate whether the use of spyware has breached EU law and fundamental rights and is expected to adopt the final report in 12 months.

Sophie in ‘t Veld, said: "The gravity of the Pegasus scandal cannot be overstated. When governments target individuals for political purposes, then that runs against every democratic and lawful instinct I have. We have strong indications that journalists, activists, and democratic opposition members have been targeted. The targeting of European Commissioners, possibly by governments in the EU, is exacerbating the already grave situation. We need to get to the bottom of this."

Moritz Körner, added: "Surveillance spyware can endanger fundamental rights and destabilise democracies. Optimally, the work of this inquiry committee should be the first step towards regulating the international sale and use of spyware technology and establishing legally binding no-spying-agreements for the public and private sector among friendly democracies."