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PEGA: Cyprus an ‘export hub’ for spyware, must repeal illegal licences

The EU’s Committee of Inquiry to investigate the use of the Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware (PEGA) has put Cyprus on blast, accusing it of being an “export hub for spyware” that should repeal all export licences it has issued that are not in line with EU legislation.

In a report by rapporteur Sophia in ‘t Veld on the investigation of alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law – which was adopted on 8 May by 30 votes in favour, three against and four abstentions – it was mentioned that "contraventions and maladministration in the implementation of Union law are likely to have taken place in Cyprus".

The report called on the government of Cyprus to "thoroughly assess all export licences issued for spyware and repeal them where appropriate". It also called for the release of "the report of the special investigator on the ‘Spyware Van’ case" and on Cyprus to "fully investigate, with the assistance of Europol, all allegations of illegitimate use of spyware, notably on journalists, lawyers and civil society actors".

The final report will be submitted to the plenary of the Parliament during the June 2023 session.

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