Members of the European Parliament will begin an inquiry committee tasked with investigating the Pegasus spyware problem that has shaken up the globe.
In July 2020, an international investigation showed that governments could have used the spyware made by Israeli-based NSO Group worldwide to hack into devices belonging to journalists, activists, and political figures.
The governments that bought the software continue to claim that they need Pegasus to catch criminals and track terrorists. In this day and age, few people buy that story, having seen the disaster that has been the war on terror.
NSO’s denials continue
NSO continues to deny that it has done anything wrong. After repeatedly saying that it vetted the governments it sold to very thoroughly, it also promised that with time, it would launch an investigation to find out if the technology has been misused.
Not many people believe that governments, even those that claim to have some respect for their critics and detractors, wouldn’t immediately get to work using Pegasus to spy on and target them to crush opposing voices.
The spyware has been linked to more than 40 governments.
Will an inquiry save us?
Sophie in ‘t Veld, a centrist MEP, took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce that the committee would be formed. The leader of Renew Europe also called for the inquiry to be MEP-led.
The Dutch MEP tweeted, “Good news: the proposal by @RenewEurope for an @Europarl_EN inquiry committee into the #Pegasus scandal now has support from a majority! It must be set up asap and fully investigate claims of illegal spying on government critics.”
As intelligence gathering tools become ever more terrifying, they continue to be even more pervasive. Maybe the inquiry could trigger some reforms, but that is up for debate.