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Governments using Pegasus spyware should be held responsible, says MEP

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By Euronews
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A logo adorns a wall on a branch of the Israeli NSO Group company, near the southern Israeli town of Sapir, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021.
A logo adorns a wall on a branch of the Israeli NSO Group company, near the southern Israeli town of Sapir, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021.   -   Copyright  Sebastian Scheiner/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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Governments using the Pegasus spyware should be held responsible, according to one MEP.

European lawmaker Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield told Euronews that countries like Hungary, which used the software to surveil investigative journalists, among others, need to be accountable for their actions.

"We need to enquire very specifically on the Pegasus case and disclose everything about it and put the governments in front of their responsibilities," the French MEP from the Green group said.

"Those that used it like the Hungarian government — which would seem to be the only member state that really used it — but also all the other member states that have not reacted to this and have not said clearly that they were opposed to it," she added.

Israeli-based firm NSO's Pegasus spyware was meant to be used against criminals, but leaked records in July showed that heads of state including French President Emmanuel Macron, journalists, human rights activists and political opponents were also targeted for hacking by clients of the spy tech.

Intelligence and security expert Claude Moniquet says the origins and reasons behind the leak should be investigated.

"It has never been done in the world's history and I don't think it will happen tomorrow. I think this list was given to journalists and Amnesty International. It is a country that disclosed it. This is something that should interest European leaders: who was at the origin of the leaks more than the facts themselves," Moniquet told Euronews.

On Tuesday the German government admitted the federal police service also used the spyware. Next week, MEPs will discuss the scandal at the September plenary session in Strasbourg.

The European Commission is also investigating the Pegasus affair.