Pegasus case: Kaczynski admits to buying spyware

Status: 07.01.2022 6:46 PM

The Pegasus spyware is said to have been used against many opponents of the Polish government. Now, PiS chief Kaczynski admitted: They exist – but members of the opposition have not been spied on.

The head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has admitted Poland’s purchase of an Israeli Pegasus spy program. Kaczynski told the weekly “Siecce” that Poland bought the product from the Israeli company NSO. Pegasus offers technical advantages and enables monitoring of encrypted text messages in the fight against crime. “It would be bad if the Polish intelligence services did not have this kind of tool,” he said.

At the same time, Kaczynski rejected reports that his government used Pegasus to spy on the opposition. “But I can only assure you that the opposition’s accounts of Pegasus being used for political ends are nonsense.”

Apparently hacked many PiS opponents

Pegasus is able to read all the data from the mobile phones that have been attacked with it. In addition, Pegasus can turn on the camera and microphone of the device without anyone noticing.

According to reports from the Polish media, the program has been used in at least three cases to monitor people unsuitable for Poland’s conservative national government. The reports are based on findings from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, which is investigating the misuse of the controversial spyware around the world.

Prosecutor Ewa Warzosek, who has criticized judicial reforms, and prominent opposition lawyer Roman Gertic and Senator Krzysztof Brigza hurt the order. In 2019, he led the election campaign for the opposition Citizens’ Alliance coalition, which sprang from the conservative Liberal Civic Platform party.

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Information apparently used in the election campaign

Bariza’s mobile phone was reportedly hacked dozens of times during the election campaign leading up to the October 2019 parliamentary elections. Bariza led the opposition’s parliamentary election campaign in 2019. Text messages stolen from his phone were tampered with and broadcast by government-controlled television networks as part of a campaign in The climax of the election campaign, in which the ruling right-wing party led by Kaczynski narrowly won.

“This is the deepest and most serious crisis in democracy since 1989,” said Civic Platform President Donald Tusk. Bariza and other party representatives expressed doubts that the general elections might have taken place differently without the Pegasus attack. But the head of the PiS, Kaczynski, opposed this. “They lost because they lost,” he said, looking at the opposition.

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