Liberal EU group calls for investigating NSO's Pegasus abuse
Following reports about NSO Pegasus' use to hack devices of Hungarian and Polish opponents, the EU parliament Renew Europe group requests investigating the case.
The European Parliament's third-largest group, Renew Europe, called Wednesday for investigating EU governments' abuses with spyware produced by Israeli company NSO Group.
The liberal group's request comes following reports that NSO's Pegasus spyware was used to hack the devices of Hungarian and Polish opposers, politicians, journalists, lawyers, and government critics.
Sophie In ’t Veld, a Dutch member of the European Parliament, said, “We need a full inquiry into the Pegasus spyware scandal. European democracy is being undermined, and the EU should act accordingly."
In ’t Veld proposed that the European Commission should “quickly blacklist" Israeli company NSO Group.
It is noteworthy that the US placed "Israel's" spyware maker NSO Group, the corporation behind the notorious Pegasus, on its list of restricted companies for conducting "transnational repression".
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland’s most powerful politician, revealed last week that his country has the Pegasus software but claimed it has not been used against the opposition.
What is Pegasus?
According to an investigation led by The Washington Post and 16 media partners that were published on July 18, Pegasus is military-grade spyware leased by NSO to governments who used it in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, human rights activists, and business executives.
Smartphones infected with Israeli spyware would become pocket-spying devices, allowing the user to read the target's messages, look through their photos, track their location, and even turn on their camera without their knowledge.
The investigation discovered that 37 targeted smartphones were found on a list of more than 50,000 numbers concentrated in countries known to engage in citizen surveillance and also known to have been clients of NSO Group.
Victims of Pegasus
In a recently disclosed attack, a UN-backed investigator's mobile phone was hacked during his investigation into possible war crimes in Yemen, forensic analysis of the device has revealed.
The targeting seems to have taken place weeks before Jendoubi's panel released a report that concluded that the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen had committed “serious violations of international humanitarian law” that could lead to “criminal responsibility for war crimes."