If Hungary and other countries have indeed hacked the phones of journalists, among others, then that is “completely unacceptable”, says the European Commission.
“That goes against every rule we have in the EU for freedom of the press,” warns President Ursula von der Leyen.
Hungary would be one of the customers of the Israeli NSO Group. According to investigative journalists from many major newspapers, that company uses its Pegasus software to help governments spy on journalists, activists, and other political opponents.
“That has yet to be verified,” von der Leyen noted. “But if this is the case, it is completely unacceptable. Press freedom is one of the core values of the European Union.”
The commission is not yet investigating the matter. In principle, it is up to the Hungarian data protection supervisor to verify whether this has been compromised. “But of course, we are following this closely,” said a committee spokesperson.