Press Releases S&Ds call for EU rules on the development, sale and use of spyware technologies in order to protect citizens

S&Ds call for EU rules on the development, sale and use of spyware technologies in order to protect citizens

In the light of ever-more expanding surveillance scandals in Europe, with dozens more potential victims just revealed in Greece, the Socialists and Democrats call for strong EU legislation on the development, sale and use of high tech surveillance software. We need to prevent EU governments from spying on innocent citizens, especially with such extremely intrusive tools like Pegasus or Predator spyware.

Particularly the illegal surveillance of politicians, such as S&D MEP Nikos Androulakis, the leader of the opposition party PASOK in Greece, or journalists, activists and lawyers for example in Poland and in Hungary, is a threat to the rule of law, democracy and human rights.

Today, the draft report of the EP’s committee of inquiry to investigate the use of the Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware (PEGA) will be presented. The vote on the final recommendations is expected next year.

S&Ds call for a plenary debate in November in Strasbourg on illegal surveillance in light of the current spying scandal in Greece.

Hannes Heide MEP, S&D spokesperson on the PEGA committee, said:

“I am shocked by the ever-growing spyware scandal in Greece and by the total lack of will by the Greek authorities to properly investigate it. It shows that the Greek government is following the dangerous autocratic path of Poland and Hungary. Once again, we urge Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to end the secrecy, stop attacking critical journalists and to clear up the Predator scandal. For next years’ elections to be fair and equal, spying on political opponents simply cannot take place!

“When EU governments use spyware against innocent citizens, this is much more than an attack on their individual freedoms or privacy. This is an attack on our European values, democracy and the rule of law. This is why we need a European answer.

“Current checks and balances are not sufficient. We need rules at the EU level to prevent intrusive and illegal surveillance. The development, sale and the use of spyware should be strictly regulated and enforced, with proper judicial oversight and transparency. The Commission should present a strict legal framework and all the member states should engage to prevent more victims of illegal surveillance.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *