PLENARY SPEECH 15/09/2021 – The Pegasus spyware scandal

Thank you, Madame President,



Dear colleagues,

For many years, we have known that the surveillance technology exists, but the Pegasus scandal shows that, rather than only being carried out by a limited number of state actors, advanced surveillance technology is now available to any client of the unregulated global spyware industry. 

The 50,000 people targeted by NSO Group spyware includes leading opposition politicians, human rights activists, journalists, lawyers and other political dissidents. This raises serious concerns for democracy around the world.

It is crucial that in this House we treat this scandal with the appropriate level of urgency it deserves. We should gather information and evidenceand present our conclusions.

While the technology cannot be rolled back, we can take steps to regulate this surveillance industry and set a global standard/example.

To conclude, I would like to remind – already in 2019, the former UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression, David Kaye, called for a moratorium on the transfer of spyware until international controls and legal framework were in place.

Thank you!

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