Brussels, March 8, 2022 – The European Parliament should ensure that an upcoming investigation into Pegasus and other spyware fulfills its ambitious scope and vision, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday.
On Wednesday, members of the European Parliament are set to vote on establishing a committee to investigate how EU member states have used Pegasus spyware to monitor people, including journalists in Europe, as well as the international reach of intrusive spyware. That committee’s final report could include recommendations that would shape the EU’s approach on tackling surveillance for years to come.
“The Committee of Inquiry should leave no stone unturned in its investigation into the use of spyware, and it must do everything possible to hold EU member states and institutions, as well as international companies, to account for the surveillance of journalists,” said Tom Gibson, CPJ’s EU representative. “This is the EU’s opportunity to take an international lead on curbing the malicious use of spyware to surveil journalists.”
CPJ has reported extensively on the use of spyware to target journalists because of their work. Israel-based NSO Group, which produces Pegasus, has said it sells only to vetted governments and law enforcement agencies.
The committee’s investigation would take place as the EU also works to more closely monitor press freedom trends in member states through its rule of law mechanism, and to better oversee recent EU legislation on the export of dual-use surveillance technology that could be used to spy on journalists.