On Wednesday, members of the European Parliament looking into how European governments have used surveillance software on dissidents harshly chastised Israel for lacking transparency in enabling the sale of powerful Israeli spyware to European governments.
They also criticized the Polish government’s refusal to meet with them during the European MPs’ fact-finding trip to Warsaw, which ended Wednesday.
Jeroen Lenaers, the delegation’s head, stated at a news conference in Warsaw, “It is disappointing, and we condemn the fact that the Polish authorities did not want to assist with our investigative committee.
We believe it is evidence of the government’s utter disregard for democratic oversight, checks and balances, and communication with elected officials.
The committee is looking into using intrusive surveillance tools like Israel’s Pegasus spyware by governments because it sees such technology as a danger to democracy in the 27-nation bloc.
Pegasus is a mobile phone hacking tool created by Israel’s NSO Group that can access mobile devices and retrieve a wealth of information, including text messages, passwords, geolocation, and recordings from the microphone and camera.
The firm markets the technology as a tool to track down criminals.
Still, governments have been utilizing it to target political opponents, journalists, and dissidents worldwide.
Cybersleuths have discovered Pegasus or other malware remnants in Poland, Hungary, Spain, and Greece.
According to Sophie in ‘t Veld, the inquiry rapporteur, the inquiry’s rapporteur, the committee has uncovered that the NSO company has sold malware to 14 EU states using export licenses given by the Israeli government. It discovered that NSO no longer sells to two of those, though it won’t specify who. Due to their democratic regress, Poland and Hungary are commonly considered the culprits.