Pegasus: Hungarian dissidents and journalists condemn alleged surveillance

The opposition and trade unions expressed shock at news of possible surveillance of journalists. If the allegations were proven true, the MUOSZ said it would be “unacceptable, outrageous and illegal”.

The head of the parliamentary security committee, Janos Stammer of the opposition right-wing Jobbik party, said he wanted to hold a special session of the body. He gained support from opposition socialists, among others. The ruling right-wing nationalist party Fidesz silently warned against boycotting the commission’s planned meeting. If this happened, Stammer wrote, it would be seen as an admission of de facto surveillance of Hungarian journalists and activists. Facebook social networking site.

It was the International Federation of Journalists New allegations against the Israeli company NSO have previously been published. According to them, traces of the attacks using the company’s Pegasus software are said to have been found on 37 smartphones of journalists, human rights activists, their family members and businessmen.

Over 50,000 potential surveillance victims

The numbers are part of a dataset of more than 50,000 phone numbers for journalists with organizations Forbidden Stories and AI Lives. According to reports, the numbers were apparently chosen by NSO agents as potential spy targets. NSO rejected the allegations on Sunday.

As stated by the Hungarian research group “Direkt36”, it should only be used in Hungary It gave more than 300 potential surveillance targets. There was evidence that four Hungarian journalists and one photographer were spotted, as well as several former businessmen and politicians. According to her own statements, «Direkt36» is part of the Union of Journalists.

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Hungarian intelligence, IH, denies involvement

Hungary’s Foreign Minister, Peter Szigarato, denied allegations that his country had spied on journalists or activists using the software. When asked the director of secret intelligence IH denied that the service was using the software, Szijjártó said, according to news portal Telex.hu.

The foreign minister said his ministry’s service is ready to provide information to the Hungarian Parliament’s Security Committee. The IH is one of the five Hungarian secret services. Szijjártó did not want to say whether another authority might be keeping an eye on the people via Pegasus.

Hungary government under Victor Urban Since she first took office in 2010, she has pursued a restrictive media policy that has come under international criticism directed against the opposition press.

The President of the European Union Commission Ursula von der Leyen He also called for clarification of the alleged surveillance. “If this is true, it is completely unacceptable,” said von der Leyen. A free press is one of the cornerstones of the European Union.

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