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Parlt Committee Declares Meeting on Pegasus Spy Software Confidential

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.09.20.

Parliament’s national security committee declared its meeting on the issue of Pegasus, an Israeli spy software, confidential for 50 years, the chairman of the committee said on Monday.

János Stummer, of Jobbik, said Interior Minister Sándor Pintér and Pál Völner, a state secretary of the justice ministry, attended the meeting, as well as four ruling party members of the committee.

Opposition members had proposed setting up an investigative subcommittee, but the majority voted against the motion, Stummer said.

The government officials “did not deny that politicians and journalists had been surveilled,” Stummer said.

Zsolt Molnár, the committee’s Socialist member, said the meeting’s “only merit was that it had quorum”. Lacking “to the point, unequivocal answers, the suspicion of obfuscation and secrecy grew”, he said. Without an investigative committee, “we can only debate issues of faith,” he said.

Péter Ungár of LMP said that while national security was an important national interest,

“it would be good to know how many times [was the spy software used] in the country’s interest and how many times in [Prime Minister] Viktor Orbán’s”.

Last month, data protection authority NAIH said it had launched an official investigation into press reports that the spyware licenced by the Israeli NSO Group had been used to hack the mobile phones of specific targets in multiple countries.

Orbán Gov't Under Fire as EP Debates Pegasus Scandal
Orbán Gov't Under Fire as EP Debates Pegasus Scandal

According to Hungary's ruling Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch, no illegal surveillance was done in Hungary.Continue reading

featured image: (from left to right) Ungár, Stummer and Molnár after the meeting; via Jobbik’s Facebook page