The new committee of inquiry will study cases of political espionage carried out in the EU using spyware
The Members of the European Parliament who make up the new “Committee of inquiry to investigate the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware” set up on Tuesday by the European Parliament have elected Esquerra MEP Diana Riba as the committee’s Second Vice-Chair. Ms Riba stated that it was an “honour and a responsibility” to receive the appointment and pledged she would work “for each and every one of the illegal espionage that has taken place in the European Union to be cleared up and to move towards the creation of a legal framework to prevent there being any further victims.”
The MEP assumed the Vice-Chair the day after Citizen Lab published a comprehensive and detailed study which revealed that 65 Catalan political and social leaders, including MEPs such as Jordi Solé, Toni Comín and Diana Riba herself, had been victims of the spyware.
Ms Riba stated that we are facing “extremely serious acts of indiscriminate espionage against an entire European democratic movement, which is a clear violation endangering our fundamental rights, including parliamentary immunity, freedom of expression, the right of assembly, the right of association, the right to privacy and the right to political participation.”
Esquerra’s spokesperson at the European Parliament also recalled that “although there may be 65 direct targets, the fact is that there are thousands of collateral victims.” In the case of the European Parliament, she added that “what is being spied on is our communications with the rest of the MEPs, who at the same time represent no more and no less than 450 million people… This issue affects the democratic normality of this institution and of the European Union as a whole, which is why we call on the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, and the European Commission to act in this regard,” she said.
In the first session of the commission of inquiry, the bureau was elected and representatives of organizations such as Forbidden Stories, Citizen Lab and Amnesty International were also heard, elucidating some of their latest research on cyberespionage.