Dutch MEP Sophie in ’t Veld has criticised a decision by the European Commission not to investigate member states who have used spy software Pegasus to eavesdrop on journalists and politicians.
The Commission said the matter is one of national security and individual countries must conduct their own investigations, prompting In ’t Veld to accuse the commission of ‘once again ducking its responsibility as guardian of the Treaties’. That includes the right to privacy, the MEP said on Twitter.
The governments of Spain, Hungary and Poland reportedly used the software to tap the phones of political opponents.
Meanwhile, Dutch MP Pieter Omtzigt, who only recently revealed he has been investigating the use of Pegasus for human rights organisation Council of Europe for the last three months, said he has not ‘received an unequivocal answer’ as to whether or not it had been used in the Netherlands.
‘Parties in government who use the state apparatus to spy on the ins and outs of political opponents have a serious problem with democracy’, he told NU.nl.
Omtzigt has sent a memo to his fellow council members to say he will be visiting the headquarters of Pegasus software makers NSO in Israel and will speak to the Israeli authorities.
He said he will also be writing to the Spanish government about recent revelations about the use of Pegasus in Spain to spy on Catalan and Basque politicians with whom the government has been involved in a long-running conflict about the independence of the region.
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