The European Parliament decided last Wednesday (09/03) to set up a committee to put the 27 EU member states under the microscope under the microscope.
According to a relevant announcement , the panel will consist of 38 members and will “investigate the use of Pegasus and related tracking software”.
As explained in the official position of the European Parliament, “possible violations of the law of the European Union on the use of monitoring software, including by Hungary and Poland” will be examined.
The Commission is also tasked with ascertaining whether there is sufficient provision in the national laws of the Member States to regulate surveillance and whether Pegasus has been used for political purposes against prominent individuals such as journalists, politicians and lawyers.
In the vote for the above committee, 635 MEPs voted in favor, 36 against and 20 abstentions.
will be announced on March 23-24.
The role of Cyprus
Of course, the whole issue directly concerns Cyprus. The main and obvious reason has to do with the report of NSO Group Technologies (30/06), owner of Pegasus software company, last summer. According to it, the products of this company were sold through Israel, Cyprus and Bulgaria.
Question about our island
We remind you that according to reports by “P”, the Dutch MEP of the Liberals, Sofia in t & # 8217; On the occasion of the above reference to the NSO report, Veld, for her part, submitted a question to the European Commission for Cyprus and Bulgaria on July 20 and shortly after the new mass surveillance scandal that broke out in the summer.
He raised the issue of the NSO Group's activities in the countries of the old continent and in particular asked for information “whether the Commission will investigate whether the EU policy on export control and distribution of 'dual-use items' has been followed in this case”. He then asked a question specifically about Cyprus and Bulgaria. He also asked how the export control authorities of our island and the Balkan country handled the issue with Pegasus.
Commission Vice-President Vera Jurova, in a written reply to the Dutch MEP on 4 November, had stated that explanations would be sought from both Cyprus and Bulgaria for the scrutiny of the Pegasus trade. >
Among others, the 57-year-old Czech commissioner from the Czech Republic, referring to the issue of the two countries, replied that “the Commission will raise the issue with the national export control authorities”.
This implies control by the Cypriot authorities over the Pegasus issue.
Previously, Vera Jurova referred to the European regulation on “dual-use” products and clarified that their control is carried out by the national authorities and national courts.
The Union term “dual-use items” is used for goods, software and technology that can be used for both civilian and military purposes.
The relevant regulation of the European Union referred to in their correspondence by the Dutch MEP and Vice-President of the European Commission, has to do with the EU system of export control, brokerage, technical assistance, transit and the transport of dual-use items.
Recall that last July the results of an investigation by an international consortium of investigative journalists were revealed, which revealed that through the controversial software Pegasus (NSO Group) more than 50,000 phone numbers were monitored for a long time.
The lists in question included the mobile phone number of European Council President Charles Michel and that of French President Emanuel Macron.
Hungary and Poland
The reason why the 38-member committee will look at exactly how Pegasus was used in Hungary and Poland has to do with officials' reports about the use of this software. On November 4, the ruling party MP, Lagios Kosa, in response to a reporter's question, admitted that the country's Interior Ministry had bought the Pegasus. The journalist's question was plausible as the international consortium of journalists released information suggesting that the government of nationalist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban had used the software.
As for Poland, evidence has emerged that Magdalena Losko, a former aide to Polish Senator Christoph Breiza, and the latter's father, Richard Breza, had received text messages in 2019. that these were “technically compatible” with the “attacks” made by a NSO Group customer using Pegasus.