Publication Date: June 2023

Following several media reports and academic publications that denounced the abuse of surveillance software against politicians, lawyers, journalists and civil activists, the European Parliament set up the PEGA Committee to investigate alleged abuses in application of EU law in relation to the use of Pegasus and equivalent spyware surveillance software. The Committee was tasked to gather information on the extent to which Member States or third countries are using intrusive surveillance to the extent that it violates the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.

Based on a comprehensive analysis of the European legal framework and a long series of hearings with experts, the final report of the Committee produced call for the “adoption of conditions for legal use, sale, acquisition, and transfer of spyware” and a list of four requests and conditions to fulfil in order to be allowed to use spyware:

  • the investigation and resolution of spyware abuse cases
  • the alignment of their national legal framework with applicable international law standards
  • the “explicit commitment to involve Europol” in their investigations
  • the repeal of export licences that would not be compliant with EU law
Tags: Surveillance Media freedom Media pluralism Freedom of expression

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