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Hungarian government eagerly uses Pegasus to eavesdrop on journalists

Hungarian government eagerly uses Pegasus to eavesdrop on journalists

In Hungary, Pegasus threatens to become a political scandal. Direkt36, an investigative journalism platform, has been able to trace spoofed phone numbers to hundreds of critics of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. These include four Hungarian journalists (including two from the same Direkt36), a photographer involved in a sensitive investigation of Russian-Hungarian relations and Zoltan Varga, the publisher of the country’s largest independent news website, 24.hu. The mayor of the town of Godolo, who is opposed to piracy, was also hacked.

Another notable name is Adrien Beauduin, a Belgian-Canadian doctoral student who was studying at the prestigious Central European University in Budapest at the time of the hack and who was arrested during a demonstration in 2018. By cleverly amending the law, the government was able to make life in Hungary impossible for the University of Europe Central. The university had to move to Vienna.

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denial

The Hungarian government denies any involvement, and instead casts doubts. “Have you asked the same questions to the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany or France?” Watchman from the mouth of the speaker. Was there an intelligence agency that helped you formulate these questions?

However, Urban’s government appears to have been the manager. Direkt36 and the German newspaper time Two intelligence sources confirmed. Szabolcs Panyi, a duped Direkt36 journalist, had the hacks read on his phone by forensic experts, and discovered a pattern: Every time he asked questions to Ministries, his cellphone was discovered to be infected shortly thereafter. Bani writes on politically sensitive topics such as Hungary’s relations with Russia and China. “I think paranoia is widespread,” he said. Watchman. “They see a lot more in our drives and networks than what is really there.”

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time Orban’s government has attacked the press: over the past decade, critical headlines such as orego, Index.hu in freedom of the people It was silenced or closed down after the acquisition of a “company” by an oligarchy close to the prime minister. The country fell from 23 (2010) on the World Press Freedom Index to 92. The opposition is now calling for a special meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, where the heads of the security services should be heard.

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