Cinema e Spettacolo

Polish senators draft law to regulate spyware after anti-Pegasus testimony

today24 Gennaio 2022


Senate commission plans reform after hearing how NSO software used against government critics

Polish senators plan to draft a law that would regulate the use of surveillance technology in the country, after hearing testimony of how the invasive Pegasus spyware has been used against a number of government critics.

Polish senator Krzysztof Brejza, who has told the commission that the dates of the attacks ‘coincided 100% with the election calendar’ and stopped a few days after the vote.

Poland is the latest country where Pegasus, a surveillance tool developed by Israeli company NSO, appears to have been used for political purposes. Pegasus allows the operator to take control of a target’s mobile device, to access all data even from encrypted messaging apps, and to turn on audio or video recording.

Gabriela Morawska-Stanecka, deputy speaker of the senate and a member of a commission set up to investigate the allegations, described Pegasus as a “cyberweapon” and said the way it had allegedly been used in Poland was completely inappropriate.

What is Pegasus spyware and how does it hack phones?

Should only be used for the most serious crimes such as terrorism,” she said, in an interview in her senate office. “It shouldn’t be the case that you can’t feel safe in your own home, your own bathroom or your own bedroom.”

The Polish Pegasus scandal was first reported last month by the Associated Press, after an investigation by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, which found Pegasus had been used against at least three people, including opposition senator Krzysztof Brejza.

Forensic analysis of his device showed it had been compromised numerous times in 2019 while he was running the electoral campaign of the opposition Civil Platform party. Brejza told the commission last week that the dates of the attacks “coincided 100% with the election calendar” and stopped a few days after the vote.

Law and Justice, the lead party in the current ruling coalition, has boycotted the commission in the opposition-led senate.

Citizen Lab also confirmed that the devices of lawyer Roman Giertych and prosecutor Ewa Wrzosek had been targeted. Wrzosek is a member of Lex Super Omnia, an association of prosecutors fighting for the independence of the prosecutors office. “In my opinion, there was no legal or factual basis to authorise the surveillance of me with the Pegasus, and the secret service officers who did so committed a crime,” said Wrzosek.

Scritto da: Andrea Manazzale

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today24 Gennaio 2022

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