Europe's PegasusGate: Countering spyware abuse

Study 06-07-2022

As civil society and media organisations expose EU Member States for using the Pegasus commercial spyware, one of the most high-profile spying scandals of recent years is coming to light in Europe. Member States' intelligence agencies have been accused of abusing highly sophisticated spyware to surveil opposition figures, journalists, lawyers, and high-ranking state officials. 'Having regard to the European Union's attachment to the values and principles of liberty, democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and of the rule of law', the European Parliament has set up a committee of inquiry. This study (i) introduces the Pegasus product's features and trading practices, (ii) surveys Pegasus operations and reactions, (iii) identifies transversal and country-specific legal concerns, and (iv) sketches possible ways forward in the public and private sectors.