“This scandal shows that we can no longer talk about the rule of law in Hungary,” said Ana Donat, a member of the European Parliament who attended the demonstrations and stressed the demand for the government to resign.
The software “Pegasus” of the Israeli company “NSO Group” is inserted into the phones for data collection and can secretly control the microphones and cameras of the smartphone.
In the case of journalists, those who oversee can spy on journalists’ communication with sources.
Since the publication of the results of the investigation, the Hungarian Center for Investigative Reporting Direkt36 has announced that the president of the Bar Association, a former state secretary and opposition mayor has also been the target of spyware.
Officials refuse to confirm or deny whether the government used “Pegasus”, but claim that all secret surveillance activities are carried out in accordance with the law.
Justice Minister Judit Varga did not say in Brussels last week whether Hungary had bought permanent spyware, but said in a statement to reporters that “every country needs such tools”.
Today’s protests were organized by several opposition political parties that united to oppose Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his ruling party, Fidesz, in next year’s elections.
Last week, three opposition members of Hungary’s parliamentary national security committee requested an emergency session to question government agencies for possible involvement in espionage.
But today, members of the Fidesz board, who have the majority of seats, boycotted the session, preventing the interrogation of the Minister of the Interior, Sandor Pinter.
“I see this as a recognition that they have something to hide,” Janos Stumer, the chairman of the right.wing Jobbik party, told the Associated Press.
He said that the opposition members of the Committee will use all means to determine whether the Government bought spy software and whether it illegally supervised its political opponents.