Pegasus scandal: Hungarian prosecutor investigating

The Israeli cyber company NSO’s spyware programme Pegasus has been used for years to hack smartphones of Hungarian targets. [Shutterstock/mundissima]

The prosecutor general’s office is looking into the Israeli spy software that targeted Hungarian journalists, lawyers, politicians and businessmen, while the country’s data office is on leave, Telex reported on Tuesday.

The Israeli cyber company NSO’s spyware programme Pegasus has been used for years to hack smartphones of Hungarian targets, investigative outlet Direkt36 revealed as part of a cross-border investigation on Sunday.

Asked by Telex if the prosecutor’s office had received a complaint about the international surveillance scandal and whether an investigation had been launched into the case, the public prosecutor’s office replied that they have received a complaint, which is now “being investigated by our competent departments.”

Meanwhile, Attila Péterfalvi, president of the National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (NAIH) told Magyar Hang that he is on leave until 3 August and will be able to decide whether to launch an investigation only after his return to work. He also said that NAIH had already received several submissions on the matter.

“The recent news suggests secret information gathering, which can be done by the special services on the basis of a ministerial or judicial authorisation” and an investigation could establish whether the special services had been authorised to do so, he added.

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