Pegasus: European Parliament investigation victim of disinformation campaign, experts warn

Could the committee in charge of the Pegasus affair in the European Parliament (PEGA) be influenced by outside actors? World-renowned experts and several victims have warned of a possible “disinformation campaign” against the investigating group in Europe.

Controversial hearings

A letter has been sent to the MEPs responsible for carrying out the investigations into the Pegasus spyware. The missive relayed by the Guardian alert on the risk of a possible operation aimed at misinforming the politicians in charge of the subject. Victims of the spy, but also Access Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales and the Human Rights Foundation have signed this call for vigilance.

This warning comes after the invitation of two people with a controversial profile to testify before the Pegasus commission. The two incriminated witnesses are known in Spain for having tried to discredit established evidence in the spyware investigation. They would also have repeatedly uttered “false claims about researchers”. “Inviting these individuals would hinder the commission’s objective of fact-finding and accountability and discourage victims from testifying before the commission in the future”alert in particular the letter.

The invitation communicated to José Javier Olivas, political scientist at the UNED was cancelled, but not that addressed to Gregorio Martín from the University of Valencia. The latter was to be heard this Tuesday, November 29 in the early morning.

Catalan separatists targeted

José Javier Olivas reacted on Twitter to the cancellation of his audition and evokes a “Trumpian campaign to discredit me and peddle a conspiracy theory (massive spying on Catalan civil society by Spain)”. As a reminder, a report from the Citizen Lab of the University of Toronto demonstrates the use of the Pegasus software against members of the Catalan independence movement. In the document, the experts mention “strong circumstantial evidence” of a link with “the Spanish authorities”.

The “disinformation campaign” would she have a link with the Spanish government? The question is asked. “I am sorry […] to see that the majority was in favor of maintaining […] of a person accused of spreading conspiracies and known to attack the work of Citizen Lab, whose work is consistently praised by experts, academics and investigative journalists”reacted Saskia Bricmont, coordinator of the commission in charge of the Pegasus affair for the Greens group quoted by Euroactiv.

For his part, Ron Deibert, founder and director of the Citizen Lab calls once again for caution on the investigation at European level. And warn: “Guilty governments and their allies may have a vested interest in the failure of these proceedings.” Did the message reach Brussels The next few months will tell.

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