Before the last Polish parliamentary elections, Senator Krzysztof Bryce helped the opposition campaign. At the same time, state television released some of his personal text messages, portraying him in a negative light.However, as a later investigation revealed, the authors of some of the messages were It was Pegasus spy his software, not his Brejza.
Just before the 2019 election, senators’ phones were hacked 33 times. But he didn’t realize it. Pegasus can infiltrate iPhones as well as those with the Android operating system in a way that leaves no trace and does not require user interaction. It then allows spyware owners to remotely access messages, photos, passwords, calls and other data.
The program was sold to many governments around the world by the Israeli company NSO Group. In 2017, Poland also bought him for Zloty 25 million (approximately 129 million crowns), which he denies misusing.
The fact that Mr. Brejz’ phone was in fact attacked by spyware was also confirmed by the Canadian research institute Citizen Lab. But it was too late. Text messages, in some cases crafted by the program itself, reached television and were often criticized for their ties to Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.
A possible spyware exploit is currently being investigated by the European Parliament, whose delegation visited Poland on Wednesday to collect further information for the investigation. Its representatives said they had received “shocking information” about the use of Pegasus against opposition politicians, journalists and activists.
To this day, Pegasus can keep up with her
Blaiza was not alone. Similarly, in the past, his wife’s mobile phone has sent bomb threats aimed at hospitals and police stations, as American broadcaster ABC News recalls. It turned out that
Journalist Ewa Siedlecká, editor of the Politica Weekly and previously worked for the opposition newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, has experience in eavesdropping and cell phone monitoring. She was not charged with any crime, nor was she informed that she was being watched. At the same time, Polish law clearly stipulates that wiretapping must either be approved by the court or be known to the parties involved.
“I went through martial law. I remember when I was on the phone at the time, a nice female voice told me that my phone would be tapped. The situation is getting worse,” on Wednesday.
She has already filed three criminal complaints against the police, the Anti-Corruption Bureau and ABW’s Security Service for espionage. She lost every time. To this day, she is unsure if her cell phone is being monitored.
When her colleague at Gazeta Wyborcze also complained about the use of spy equipment on his cell phone, the court told him, “When you’re a journalist, you have to be prepared to wiretap.” rice field.
“Everyone can be monitored and there is no protection, so Poland joins the club together with Hungary and Russia,” said Wojciech Klicki of the Panopticon Foundation, a non-governmental organization that deals with the protection of human rights in Poland. said.
Pegasus is also being bought by other EU countries
The exact number of people tracked by Pegasus in Poland is unknown. Expert estimates put him at least 60 from the ranks of journalists, opposition politicians and activists. No one was investigated or convicted based on findings from cell phones.
The Polish government has confirmed that it has purchased the software, but has not commented on individual cases. Her PiS party, the ruling party, voted against an investigation being conducted directly in Poland by the non-governmental Senate, refusing to participate in the investigation by a committee set up by the European Parliament.
Stanislaw Djarin, a spokesman for the Polish minister in charge of coordinating intelligence services, has previously denied the intelligence services could be involved in internal political strife. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called claims that the government was spying on opposition lawmakers “fake news”.
The European Parliament is also investigating the abuse of surveillance technology in other EU countries, notably Spain and Greece. However, Pegasus could and could be used by governments in other European countries, with 14 EU member states initially showing interest, but in two cases the purchase was ultimately No. The Czech government has yet to comment on whether it has also purchased the program.
“So far, the situation seems to be the worst in Poland, at least because only the Polish government absolutely refuses to speak to the Commission of Inquiry. ,” Czech MEP Marcel Kolaja, who is a member of the European delegation, explains to the online daily Aktuálně.cz (Pirates).
The MEP does not see that the Warsaw side is trying to solve the problem and is also asking the European Commission to intervene.
In a hearing lasting almost two hours, I was able to interview a victim of illegal spyware snooping at an official mission of the European Parliament in Poland. #Pegasus, was purchased by the Polish government. Opposition politicians, prosecutors, and businessmen are examples of victims of illegal wiretapping. pic.twitter.com/SsKQX4WF19
— Marcel Kolaja (@PiratKolaja) September 20, 2022
When to Use Spyware?
In Warsaw on Wednesday, it was also discussed whether there is any reason for the legal use of the software. “We only need the Pegasus to fight serious crimes, not to fight politically against people who have nothing to do with terrorism,” said a former police officer who had already joined a recommendation to the government in 2019. Detective Adam Rappaki responded. Software that can be used legally.
On the contrary, Kolaja sees no reason for this. According to him, any evidence that the use of the software would bring would fail in court due to the possibility of manipulation.
The MEP committee will also hear from wiretapping experts and victims in Greece and Spain. By March next year, the European Commission plans to publish a recommendation report that can be used to draft new legislation. “This will be further proof that adherence to the rule of law principle is not working in Poland,” believes Koraya.
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