Governments are Still Free to Use the Pegasus Software Without Human Rights Safeguards in Place

In September 2022, Szabolcs Panyi, a Hungarian investigative journalist with Direkt36, published a story on how the Pegasus software was brought to Hungary. The report demonstrates how easily governments can exploit surveillance technologies without human rights safeguards in place.

Panyi — also a target of Pegasus — explained the circumstances under which Pegasus was brought to Hungary and the National Security Service’s (NSS) role in the transaction. Direkt36 revealed in 2021 that journalists and politicians in Hungary could have been tapped with the tool.

According to Direkt36, the National Security Service commissioned Communication Technologies Ltd. in 2017 to acquire the spy software developed by the Israeli company NSO Group. According to sources familiar with the circumstances of the transaction, the spyware was purchased for HUF 3 billion (approx. EUR 7.45 million). The investigation found that the whole transaction remained secret because, in October 2017, Parliament’s National Security Committee voted unanimously and without question to exempt the purchase of the spy software from public procurement.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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