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European Parliament votes to set up Pegasus inquiry committee into surveillance spying & espionage scandal

The European Parliament has voted to set up an inquiry committee to investigate the use of  surveillance spyware against citizens, activists and journalists. This follows revelations from an international consortium of journalists that many governments, including from EU Member States, have been using the NSO group’s Pegasus spyware against citizens. The Greens/EFA Group strongly condemns the use of surveillance spyware and called for the inquiry committee to investigate the extent of their use, the role of European governments and to help better protect people against cyber surveillance. 

Saskia Bricmont MEP, Greens/EFA Member of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee, comments:

“The use of surveillance technologies to spy on journalists, lawyers, civil society activists and citizens is extremely concerning and entains strong fundamental rights violations, including on data protection, and a chilling effect for those defending individual freedoms and rule of law. 

“It is unacceptable that governments have been targeting people with Pegasus spyware. The use of surveillance spyware tramples on civil liberties and demonstrates a severe threat to democracy and the rule of law, including in Europe. That’s why it’s welcome that the inquiry committee will  investigate the extent of these spying practices and which EU Member States may have been using surveillance spyware to target citizens.

“We need to sanction those states who are actively using such technology and ensure that it is not used in the future. Everyone living in Europe should be able to live free in the knowledge that an EU Member State or third country government isn’t using their own phone to spy on them, simply because of their political views, background, or occupation.” 

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