| Biztonságpolitika
2021. szeptember 23. 19:46

Still Too Much Secrecy Surrounding Pegasus-Affair

Still Too Much Secrecy Surrounding Pegasus-Affair
There is still "secrecy" around the Pegasus case; the government should investigate whether the leak of sensitive information could pose a national security risk, , MSZP MP Attila Mesterházy said on ATV's program "Straightforward Talk" on Tuesday.

He said it was "telling" that the MPs did not come out of Monday's meeting of Parliament's National Security Committee with the Interior Minister having closed the issue, or without declaring whether that they had or had not received a reassuring answer.

"There is still (...) secrecy surrounding this issue, and (...), that being the case, (...) usually only those who have things to hide resort to secrecy," Mesterházy said.

He called it "unacceptable" to monitor journalists, "even if (...) they are not professionally selected."

He confirmed that he was personally convinced that the Hungarian government had secret surveillance software and was still using it today; he was already sure of this even before his visit to the Director-General of the National Security Service (NSZ) Hedvig Szabó, and was not "in any way in doubt" ever since, either.

However, he stated that "I can only assume."

As he said, technically the monitoring is carried out by the NSZ; "the Director-General has assured me that they are always carried out only with the content and target people authorised."

Mesterházy added, that the DG was not authorised to examine these, therefore the next step is interesting, namely that the person who authorises these procedures should be the one to consult on the matter.

The majority of these are issued by the court, and the rest by the justice minister, so she should definitely be heard about in what cases and how she decides on surveillance warrants, and whether she could pass the task on to her secretary of state, the MP said.

He also said that "in general" it was "natural" for a government to have and use such software, as surveillance of criminals, terrorists, drug dealers and the like is in the interests of national security, and "there is also a growing pool of young criminals", "so there is a perfectly legal and proper part of this."

But he called it an important question whether legally obtained surveillance data could be "leaked out of the Hungarian network", perhaps to a foreign company or service. Asked whether this could be assumed, he said: 'It can be assumed. So why couldn't it be leaked?"

He expressed hope that the prosecutor's investigation into the secret surveillance would produce results; he said that once it was concluded, it would be worth trying again to set up a parliamentary fact-finding committee because it could get more concrete answers.