EDSP calls for EU-wide ban on Pegasus spy software

EDSP calls for EU-wide ban on Pegasus spy software

16. Februar 2022 0 Von Horst Buchwald

EDSP calls for EU-wide ban on Pegasus spy software

Brussels, 16.2.2022

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has called for an EU-wide ban on the controversial Pegasus spyware program, warning that its use could lead to „unprecedented levels of intrusion.“ Among Pegasus‘ capabilities, it said, is that it installs itself undetected on devices via zero-click attacks, allowing it to track the target at every turn. Corresponding data such as photos, emails, phone calls, internet usage , locations and much more would be passed on to the client.

The Israeli developer NSO Group claims that they would only sell Pegasus to governments. They would only use it to prevent crime and fight terrorism. According to EDSP, several investigations have shown that this is not true. According to this, the software would be used against disagreeable journalists, activists and opposition politicians. This has been found in Spain, France and Hungary, for example.

In January, researchers from Citizen Lab found that Pegasus had been used to spy on three critics of the Polish government, raising questions about the legality of the country’s 2019 parliamentary elections, he said.

In light of these cases, the EDPS – which is tasked with issuing guidance and recommendations to the European Commission – called for a „ban on the development and use of spyware with the capability of Pegasus in the EU.“

The EDPS report comes just months after the U.S. Department of Commerce placed NSO on its Entity List, which prohibits American companies from doing business with the surveillance software maker unless they receive explicit authorization.