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MEP Kolaja: Pegasus was used to spy on Polish opposition, journalists and public prosecutors



Today, 21 September, the European Parliament’s PEGA Committee concluded its investigation into the use of Pegasus spyware by Polish citizens. Marcel Kolaja (quaestor and member of the Pirate Party) was a member of the European Parliament’s PEGA committee. He registered accounts of serious violations of EU and national law regarding the purchase, use, and oversight of the spyware. The PEGA committee regretted that the Polish government did not respond to any questions regarding these serious allegations.

The Polish government illegally acquired Pegasus and spent at least EUR5million from the Justice Support Fund for victim support. According to hearings held over the past few days, it is clear that the Polish government purchased the spyware illegally. The Polish government declined to cooperate so we don’t know how many victims were infected and how many devices. The PEGA committee will also investigate in which Member States the Pegasus spyware has been used. After his three-day mission, Marcel Kolaja from Pirate Party concludes that only a few Member States came forward so we can’t even say if they are still using it.”

The mission team met to confirm that the Pegasus software had been used in over 60 cases. Pegasus software can leave no trace, so it is almost impossible to find. The investigation revealed that victims were monitored even in the most private moments and election campaigns. Lack of concrete steps from the Polish government We must also put pressure on European Commission to act. It is also important to include the Council of the European Union. Czechia currently holds the presidency until the end of the year. Kolaja explains how the next steps will be taken in investigating the scandal.

The majority of Member States were not asked by the PEGA committee if they used or purchased Pegasus or similar spyware. The investigation was not conducted by any member of the Polish government. Background: Pegasus was developed by NSO Group, an Israeli cyber-espionage firm. In the past few years, 14 European countries have purchased it. Now, it is being accused that politicians representing governmental parties used the spyware to spy on journalists and opposition politicians. Pegasus, which exploits security flaws, can be used to covertly control mobile devices running iOS or Android. This spyware can read text messages and record calls. It can also collect passwords and control the device.

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