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Poland: Pegasus spyware used to hack Polish senator - 'shocking but not surprising'

Powerful spyware from the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group was used to hack Krzysztof Brejza multiple times in 2019 

Amnesty International has independently confirmed that Pegasus spyware was used to hack Polish senator, Krzysztof Brejza, when he was running the opposition’s 2019 parliamentary election campaign.

Anna Błaszczak, Amnesty International Poland’s Director, said:

"These findings are shocking but not surprising. They raise serious concerns not only for politicians, but for the whole of Poland’s civil society in general, particularly given the context of the government's record of persistently subverting human rights and the rule of law.

"Activists and protesters have been targeted through criminal investigations, undermining the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Meanwhile judges and prosecutors who raised concerns over the lack of independence of the judiciary face disciplinary and even criminal investigations.

“Despite media reports that the Israeli government stopped exports of the NSO software to a group of countries including Poland, this does not seem to have affected existing licences and the use of Pegasus in Poland.

“These revelations demonstrate yet again why there is an urgent need for a commitment from governments to stop any forms of surveillance that breaches human rights and the need for a global moratorium on the export, sale, transfer and use of surveillance equipment, until a robust human rights-compliant regulatory framework is in place.”

Pegasus Project

In July 2021, the Pegasus Project exposed the global scale of abuses using NSO Group’s “Pegasus” spyware. The investigation was a ground-breaking collaboration by more than 80 journalists from 17 media organisations in ten countries, coordinated by Forbidden Stories and with technical support from Amnesty. Amnesty Tech conducted cutting-edge forensic tests on mobile phones to identify traces of the spyware.

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