On Tuesday, Parliament’s new inquiry committee investigating the use of Pegasus and other spyware had its first meeting, electing a Chair and three Vice-Chairs.
The new committee is tasked with investigating the use of Pegasus software and other equivalent spyware, and held its constitutive meeting on 19 April. Members elected the following MEPs to lead the committee’s work:
-Chair: Jeroen Lenaers (EPP, NL)
-First Vice-Chair: Sándor Rónai (S&D, HU)
-Second Vice-Chair: Diana Riba i Giner (Greens/EFA, ES)
-Third Vice-Chair: Moritz Körner (Renew, DE)
In this first meeting, MEPs also heard from experts who outlined their research into Pegasus and other equivalent spyware:
-Forbidden Stories: Laurent Richard & Sandrine Rigaud
-Citizen Lab: John Scott-Railton & Bill Marczak
-Amnesty International: Donncha Ó Cearbhail & Likhita Banerji
You can re-watch the meeting on the Parliament's multimedia centre.
Newly-elected committee chair Jeroen Lenaers (EPP, NL) said: “We have seen many cases where innocent people such as journalists and lawyers have been targeted by spyware, and this is a huge problem for democracy and the rule of law. We will now gather information about the use of Pegasus and other equivalent software, and channel these findings into useful recommendations.”
Following the alleged use of the Pegasus surveillance spyware against journalists, politicians, law enforcement officials, diplomats, lawyers, business people, civil society actors and other citizens, the European Parliament decided in March to establish a new committee of inquiry to investigate the use of Pegasus and other surveillance spyware, and whether this use has breached EU law and fundamental rights. The Committee is scheduled to submit a final report after 12 months.