The German government has admitted that the German police secretly purchased Pegasus spyware.
German government admits it bought and used spyware Pegasus
The German government has admitted that the German police secretly purchased Pegasus spyware. According to a report in The Wire, the German Federal Criminal Police Office bought spyware from Israeli firm NSO in 2019. According to the report, the government had informed the Bundestag's internal committee about the purchase in a secret session. Earlier such reports had also come in the German newspaper Die Zeit. According to Die Zeit's report, the spyware was purchased under 'extreme secrecy'.
Martina Link, the vice-president of the German Federal Criminal Police Office, has told lawmakers that her group has purchased spyware. In late 2020, the police acquired a version of the Pegasus Trojan virus software. It has been used in select cases related to terrorism and organized crime since March 2021.
Germany's Federal Court has ruled that security services are only allowed to use spyware on cellphones and computers for surveillance in special cases, and can only conduct certain types of operations.
The German government has been asked specifically about the use of NSO spyware three times in recent years and has largely denied being responsible for its use.
Green Party MP Konstantin von Notz has described the matter as 'a nightmare for the rule of law'. He has demanded a full explanation from the federal government. He has asked who is specifically responsible for the purchase and use of spy software.