BRUSSELS, Oct 14 (Reuters) – The European Parliament awarded the EU’s high journalism prize on Thursday to reporters who revealed that adware developed by an Israeli firm had been used towards dissidents, human rights activists and politicians together with French President Emmanuel Macron.
The parliament awarded the inaugural prize of 20,000 euros ($23,222) to the group of 17 media organisations, led by Paris-based non-profit journalism group Forbidden Stories, which obtained technical help from Amnesty International.
The ‘Pegasus Project’ investigation concluded that folks throughout 50 nations had been focused for potential survelliance, in what Amnesty and the media organisations stated highlighted makes an attempt to silence activists and a free press.
“An unprecedented leak of more than 50,000 phone numbers selected for surveillance by the customers of the Israeli company NSO Group shows how this technology has been systematically abused for years,” the EU parliament stated in a press release.
NSO has rejected the reporting, saying in a press release in July that it was “full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories”. It has stated its Pegasus software program is meant to be used solely by authorities intelligence and legislation enforcement businesses to struggle terrorism and crime.
The Pegasus Project findings prompted Israel to arrange a senior inter-ministerial crew to look into the allegations that the adware had been abused on a worldwide scale. learn extra
Amnesty referred to as for higher safety of the media.
“It is vital that EU countries address these abuses, protect journalists and rights defenders, and ensure robust and meaningful regulation over the cybersurveillance industry both at home and abroad,” stated Eve Geddie, director of Amnesty International’s European establishments workplace.
The EU prize, referred to as the Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism, is known as after a Maltese investigative reporter who was killed by a automotive bomb 4 years in the past.
The winner of the prize was chosen by an impartial jury composed of representatives of the media and civil society from the EU’s 27 states and representatives of the European Associations of Journalism.
($1 = 0.8613 euros)
Editing by Gareth Jones