Poland forms inquiry committee on Pegasus use by previous government News
© WikiMedia (Adrian Grycuk)
Poland forms inquiry committee on Pegasus use by previous government

The Parliament of Poland constituted an inquiry committee which held its first meeting on Monday to investigate the illegal use of Pegasus, a spyware software, by the members of the last ruling government and state officers, including police and other fiscal authorities.

The newly formed committee is exclusively involved in inquiring about the “legality, regularity, and purposefulness of operational and reconnaissance activities undertaken among others” by various organs of the government and other government-run agencies that have been involved in using the spyware against its political opponents. As per the committee, the investigation period is from 16 November 2015 to 20 November 2023.

The committee will most likely call on the prominent figures of the Prawo i Sprawiedliwos (PiS), which formed the last government, as per the Polish Press Agency (PPA), the state news media agency. The PPA also mentioned that the prominent figures include “Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the PiS leader, Zbigniew Ziobara the then justice minister and prosecutor general, along with the former interior minister and his deputy.” The committee is assured of the usage of the spyware by government officials; however, it is calculating the extent of its use. Chairman Sroka Magdalena heads the committee. 

The Citizen Lab, a non-profit research lab at the University of Toronto, conducted investigations into the usage of Israeli Pegasus spyware by the governments of many countries, intricately targeting the opposition government officials and leaders along with journalists and independent organizations. Poland was one of the countries where there was an attack on NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.

However, the last ruling government leader, Kaczynski, has affirmed that its government had used Pegasus but has rejected the allegation of using spyware against government officials and other factions of the society. He stated last week, “It’s all overblown…everything was in line with Polish national interest, with the needs of the security services to combat crime and espionage.”

Amnesty International has also confirmed the government’s involvement in using Pegasus for its interests, attacking the opposite factions and violating the laws and regulations of the country, especially privacy laws and state interests.