29. November 2022

Country-hearing: Spain (29 November)

Panel 1:

  • Ignacio Cembrero, investigative journalist at El Confidential
  • Andreu van den Eynde, Criminal lawyer
  • Gregorio Martin, Emeritus Professor of Computer Science, University of Valencia

Panel 2:

  • Esperanza Casteleiro Llamazares, Director of the Spanish National Intelligence Agency (CNI)
  • Juan Jesús Torres Carbonell, Secretario General de Administración Digital
Weiterlesen
28. November 2022

Left fact finders confirm details on CatalanGate 

Results of the Independent PEGA Mission from 24 – 27 October 2022 in Madrid and Barcelona 

While the Spanish national government is obstructing any clarification on the biggest European spy scandal, numerous NGOs and lawmakers are working on it. We heard shocking testimonies on this matter. The 65 known Pegasus victims are only the tip of the iceberg. Many more people are affected, even abroad. Any control of spying programmes, whether in parliament or through the judiciary, is proving impossible. The scale of this affair is shaking the foundations of democracy in Europe as well.

The phones of at least 63 people were attacked with the Pegasus spy software in Spain and its regions between 2015 and 2021. 51 successful attacks could be proven on their phones. This was the result of forensic investigations by the Canadian institute CitizenLab, which were published in April 2022. Attacks against the other 12 phones via SMS or WhatsApp, however, could not be confirmed beyond doubt forensically.

According to the investigations, 4 other people were infected with a Trojan programme by Candiru, also an Israeli manufacturer, which has similar functions but targets computer systems. At least two people were attacked with both programmes. Since, the forensic tools used by CitizenLab predominantly detect infections on iOS devices, the number of people, in reality, affected could be significantly higher.

In July 2020, the revelations came after WhatsApp had notified 1,400 users affected by the vulnerability exploited with Pegasus in Spain about the attacks. Some of them had already experienced anomalies on their devices at that time. After the publication by WhatsApp, CitizenLab offered victims in the Spanish state to submit their phones for a forensic and technical analysis. Many victims have agreed to be named in a report, while other victims wanted to remain anonymous. … Weiterlesen

27. November 2022

Past and upcoming Pegasus hearings/ missions (overview)

Also within the European Union, journalists, opposition politicians, critical prosecutors, diplomats, lawyers and civil society actors are being spied on with Pegasus and similar tools. This violates Union law. The European Parliament therefore decided on 10 March 2022 to set up a Committee of Inquiry to investigate the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware. The vote to establish the committee was carried 635 in favour, 36 against and 20 abstentions.

The inquiry should gather information on the extent to which the Member States‘ use of the surveillance tools violates the rights and freedoms enshrined in the Charter and thereby jeopardises the values enshrined in Article 2 TEU, such as democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. To this end, the investigation mandate consists of 18 different tasks.

The Committee organises hearings and closed meetings, fact-finding missions and commissions studies. After 12 months, its work ends with a final report. Rapporteur is the Liberal Sophie in ’t Veld.

All hearings and meetings:
Weiterlesen

23. November 2022

Interview with Carles Puidemont, Catalan politician and MEP

Politicians and activists from Catalonia have been attacked with the mercenary spyware „Pegasus“, the scope is almost unbelievable. According to a report by the Canadian group Citizen Lab in April of this year, at least 65 people are said to be involved. In addition to the current president of the Catalan autonomous government, Pere Aragonès, you were also spied upon this way. What is known so far about the extent of the scandal known as „CatalanGate“?

So far we have confirmation that more than 60 politicians, activist, advisors, lawyers and family members have been spied on by Pegasus, although in reality we believe there have been many more. Due to the very nature of Pegasus, it is very difficult to determine who has been infected and when, but it is very likely that we are dealing with the most extensive case of European espionage in the last 30 years. This is one of our specific requests, to be able to know who has been spied on and who has authorised it.… Weiterlesen

14. November 2022

Country-hearing: Germany (14 November)

  • Andre Meister, netzpolitik.org
Weiterlesen
9. November 2022

Forderung des iranischen Parlaments nach Todesstrafe absolut inakzeptabel!

Cornelia Ernst, Vorsitzende der Iran-Delegation des Europäischen Parlaments, erklärt zu den jüngsten Entwicklungen in den Beziehungen zum Iran, insbesondere zur Forderung des iranischen Parlaments, Demonstrierende zum Tode zu verurteilen: „Als Vorsitzende der Delegation für die Beziehungen zum Iran verurteile ich die Forderung des iranischen Parlaments nach der Todesstrafe für die inhaftierten Demonstranten aufs Schärfste. Dies würde etwa 14 000 inhaftierte Menschen betreffen. Dies ist absolut inakzeptabel. Ich möchte auch die Lieferung von Drohnen durch den Iran an Russland im Zusammenhang mit dem Krieg Russlands in der Ukraine scharf kritisieren. Darüber hinaus hat das iranische Außenministerium kürzlich einige meiner Kollegen, Mitglieder des Europäischen Parlaments, mit Sanktionen belegt – das ist inakzeptabel und verletzt unsere Rechte als Abgeordnete bei der Erfüllung unseres Mandats.

Deshalb werde ich als Vorsitzende der Iran-Delegation unermüdlich daran arbeiten, die Zivilgesellschaft und die Demonstrierenden zu unterstützen. Dem Europäischen Parlament und insbesondere unserer Delegation kommt dabei eine entscheidende Rolle zu, und als Vorsitzende werde ich meine volle Unterstützung und Solidarität mit den Demonstrierenden im Iran bekräftigen. Ihre Stimmen sollen jetzt und in Zukunft gehört werden. Wir werden alles tun, um sichere Kommunikationskanäle mit der Zivilgesellschaft im Iran zu schaffen – das brauchen wir jetzt mehr denn je.“… Weiterlesen

8. November 2022

Conference 9th of November 2022: The use of Pegasus and other spyware

Left MEPs will present findings from missions to Spain, Cyprus, Greece and Israel. They will be joined by very special guests that include victims of the illegal use of this spyware as well as those involved in uncovering the abuse.

16.30-19.00, European Parliament, Altiero Spinelli (ASP) 1G2, Brussels

Join online: https://ep.interactio.eu/j4kd-elrp-synlWeiterlesen

1. November 2022

Mission to Cyprus and Greece (1-4 November)

1 November (Cyprus):

  • 19.30 – 20.30: Elias Stephanou, legal expert
  • 20.30 – 22.00: Fanis Makrides, journalist; Makarios Drousiotis, writer

2 November (Cyprus/ Greece):

  • 8.30 – 9.30: Natasa Pilides, Minister for Energy, Commerce and Industry; Kyriacos Kokkinos, Deputy Minister for Research, Innovation and Digital Policy
  • 10.00 – 11.00: Attorney General George L Savvides, Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus
  • 11.30 – 13.00: House of Representatives: Committee on Institutions, Merit; Commissioner for Administration (Ombudsman); Committee of Legal Affairs, Justice and Public Orders
  • 19.00 – 20.30 Nektaria Stamouli; Nikolas Leontopoulos; Anastasios Telloglou; Yannis Souliotis

3 November:

  • 9.00 – 10.00: Members of the former Investigative Committee of the Greek Parliament
  • 10.00 – 11.00: Members of the former Investigative Committee of the Greek Parliament
  • 11.00 – 12.00 Members of the former Investigative Committee of the Greek Parliament
  • 12.00 – 14.00: Giorgios Gerapetritis, Minister of State
  • 14.15 – 15.00: Sotiria Papageorgopoulou, Head of the Athens Public Prosecutor’s office
  • 15.15 – 16.00: Vasilios Papakostas, Director of the Cyber Crime Prosecution Directorate of Hellenic Police
  • 16.15 – 17.15: Kefaloyiannis, Chair of the former inquiry committee of the Hellenic Parliament
  • 17.30 – 19.00: Meeting with victims: Christos Spirtzis, Member of Greek Parliament; Nikos Androulakis, MEP; Thanasis Koukakis, journalist

4 November:

  • 9.00 – 10.00: Christos Rammos, President of ADAE
  • 10.00 – 11.00: NGOs, Human Rights Defenders: Stefanos Loukopoulos, Vouliwatch; Lefteris Papagiannakis, Fotini Kokkinaki, Hellenic League for Human Rights; Stefanos Vitoratos, HomoDigitalis
  • 11.00: Press conference
Weiterlesen
27. Oktober 2022

The impact of Spyware on Fundamental Rights and The impact of spyware on democracy and electoral processes (27 October)

Panel 1:

  • Ot van Daalen, Institute for Information law, UvA
  • David Kaye, former UN special rapporteur for freedom of expression

Panel 2:

  • Krzysztof Brejza, targeted with Pegasus while head of election campaign
  • Giovanni Sartor, Part-time professor at Faculty of Law at the University of Bologna and at the EUI
  • Iverna McGowan, Director, Europe Office of Center for Democracy and Technology
Weiterlesen