Pegasus Project: use of spyware on journalists is unacceptable, EU

Roman AhmedWeb Editor

20th Jul, 2021. 12:57 am
eu president

The European Union has predestined any spying on journalists, after reports that Israeli software had been used to hack the smartphones of journalists, government officials, and rights activists worldwide.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during a visit to Prague that, “What we could read so far – and this has to be verified, but if it is the case it is completely unacceptable. Against any kind of rules we have in the European Union.”

“Freedom of media, a free press is one of the core values of the EU. It is completely unacceptable if this (hacking) were to be the case.”

An investigation circulated on Sunday by 17 media organizations, led by the Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden Stories, said spyware made and licensed by the Israeli company NSO had been used in endeavored and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, government officials, and human rights activists.

NSO said its invention was envisioned only for use by examined government intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contest terrorism and delinquency.

The investigation, which Reuters did not independently confirm, did not reveal who had attempted the hacks or why.

The Hungarian investigative website Direkt36, part of the association, said the more than 300 objectives in Hungary comprised journalists, businesspeople, lawyers, and detractors of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government.

Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Hungary was uninformed of the stated reconnaissance efforts but that he had asked the head of the Hungarian Information Office, a secret facility under his management, to investigate.

 

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