Spain’s ombudsman to probe alleged cyber spying of Catalan figures

The probes come following intense strain on the federal government to clarify itself after Canada’s Citizen Lab group, a digital rights group, mentioned greater than 60 folks linked to the Catalan separatist motion, together with a number of MEPs, politicians, legal professionals and activists, had been targets of “Pegasus” spy ware made by Israel’s NSO Group.

In an interview with Spanish paper El Pais on Sunday, Catalan chief Pere Aragones, mentioned belief was “at a minimum” and referred to as on the federal government to present solutions within the subsequent days.

Spain’s Ombudsman, which supervises the exercise of public administrations, mentioned it was assessing “a possible inappropriate use of the Pegasus software tools” which will have put “fundamental rights”, together with privateness, in danger.

In a press release on Sunday, Spain’s defence ministry mentioned it supported the ombudsman’s investigation, including it will “highlight that the CNI has acted, at all times, in accordance with the legal system”.

NSO mentioned the allegations have been false after they have been made on Monday.

Spanish authorities have been making an attempt to ease tensions with Catalonia’s leaders for the reason that allegations have been made. Aragones referred to as them “an unjustifiable disgrace”.

Minister for the presidency Felix Bolanos mentioned on Sunday after a gathering together with his Catalan counterpart, Laura Vilagra, the CNI would conduct an inner investigation.

The Spanish authorities had a “clear conscience and nothing to hide”, he mentioned, and the principle goal of the measures was to “clarify the facts as soon as possible”.

He additionally pledged the federal government would convene the official secrets and techniques fee in parliament – the place the director of the CNI must seem.

But Vilagra mentioned the measures have been “insufficient”, including “a scandal of this magnitude cannot be managed in a cosmetic way”.

Citizen Lab mentioned nearly all the infections by the Pegasus spy ware happened between 2017 and 2020 within the wake of Catalonia’s failed independence bid, that plunged Spain into its worst political disaster in years.

“Strong circumstantial evidence suggests a nexus with Spanish authorities,” it mentioned.

(Reporting by Jessica Jones; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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