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Pegasus Spyware Report: Everything Was Legal, But Details to Be Kept Secret Until 2050

picture of Attila Péterfalvi

The use of Pegasus spy software by Hungarian authorities was legal, according to the final report by Data Protection Commissioner Attila Péterfalvi (pictured) and reported by HVG on Monday.

Péterfalvi held a press conference on the matter, where he said that his office had investigated a hundred specific cases in total to determine whether the use of Pegasus spyware in Hungary was legal, and that the results showed that all cases were in order. However, only a portion of the Commissioner’s report is being made public, as there is another confidential version that will be remain secret until December 31, 2050.

He also pointed out that there were no problems regarding the issuing of the surveillance warrants, even though they were not signed by Justice Minister Judit Varga but by her former deputy, Pál Völner, who has since resigned over allegations of corruption against him.

HVG also reported that Péterfalvi was still not willing to answer key questions about the use of the software, such as which organization in Hungary paid for Pegasus, who used it and for how long, and whether it is still being used now.

However, Péterfalvi did say that although his office had asked Amnesty International six times for the list of telephone numbers which Direkt36 published its investigative articles on Pegasus last year, they still haven’t received it. He stated that he would be filing a report so that investigative bodies could determine whether any data abuses occurred when the information was leaked.

Népszava recently wrote that a hearing on the possible illegal use of Pegasus may be held in February by the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs (LIBE). Moreover, it is expected that a debate on the issue at a plenary session of the European Parliament will be held in the same month. [Magyar Hang]

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