“The Patriotic governments in Hungary, India and elsewhere used Israeli spy software to spy on journalists” are the unconfirmed story that the 17 Soros-linked media outlets are pushing worldwide, these media claims that French President Macron was a target of the surveillance, despite presenting no evidence for the claim, which NSO Group denies.
The NSO Group, maker of the Pegasus spy software denies and called the report “full of wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories that raise serious doubts about the reliability and interests of the sources.”
Zoltán Kovács, a Hungarian government spokesman wrote About Hungary, he identified that Hungary’s spying laws are “some of the strictest” and it far exceeds the oversight, for example over a Democrat spying in the USA.
In Hungary, “secret security activities that infringe privacy must always be approved by an external official – an appointed judge in criminal cases, or the minister of justice in intelligence or counter-intelligence matters,” according to Kovács.
This stands in stark contrast with the NSA’s mass gathering of data that was revealed by Edward Snowden, a whistleblower, for example.
On March 12, 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testified before the US Senate Select Intelligence Committee, and was asked, “Does the NSA collect any form of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” “No, Sir… not wittingly,” Clapper replied. Clapper has never been held to account for lying to the Senate, it turns out that this was proven to be untrue.
“Secret security activities that invade privacy must always be approved by an external official — an appointed judge in criminal cases, or the minister of justice in matters of intelligence or counter-intelligence. These activities always require individual authorization and must meet strict criteria of efficiency, necessity and proportionality,” Kovács also noted.
The FISA Court, which has been shown to have repeatedly authorized spying on the Trump campaign and presidency based on the bogus Clinton-DNC-financed Steele Dossier, would be the corresponding US authority for spying on US citizens.
Kovács wrote that in Hungary the National Assembly’s National Security Committee supervised the National security services, which “can only be led by an opposition MP.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, is a known partisan for the ruling Democrats who never hesitate to abuse his office for explicitly partisan purposes. Mark Warner of Virginia, a Democrat, chairs the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
In Hungary, “the personnel of secret services may not conduct investigations and are forbidden from employing coercive measures,” Kovács also note, where on orders of the FBI head James Comey, the FBI investigators Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok conspired to entrap the National Security Advisor General Mike Flynn, this also stands in stark contrast to the US.
Kovács writes about the campaign against Hungary, “The media on this story are pursuing an agenda. And in their determination to drive that agenda, they’ve abandoned objectivity, those who claim that Hungary’s laws on the security services are loose simply don’t know their facts.”
Today, the following rebuttal was published by Kovács:
Five tough questions all of us should be asking about this Pegasus story
By Zoltán Kovács, the Hungarian government spokesman
What is this data leak? Is it legit? Where did it come from? Who got it and why? And what else does it show that we’re not being told?
The mainstream media has run with this Pegasus story, seduced into a frenzy of self-referential reporting that fails to take an objective viewpoint and ask some hard questions.
I’ve raised this on Twitter. A reader replied, “Do tell us, what are the right questions?”
Thanks for the question. Because you asked, here are a few that the critical observer should be asking:
- Where did this leak come from?
The media outlets that first broke the story refer to “a massive data leak.” That’s it. I haven’t seen anyone ask a critical question about that leak. Reporters pushing the story have provided no further detail on the source of this “massive” leak, nor any comprehensive detail on what it contains. I understand that journalists protect sources, but without any further detail about how they obtained it or where it may have come from, why should the thoughtful, objective reader believe it?
- How did they come by this “massive leak” and why?
On that point, the lead on this “massive data leak” was a relatively unknown non-profit organization called Forbidden Stories, founded in 2017. How did they come by this “massive data leak”? Did they uncover it themselves or did a walk-in source just drop it in their lap? I note that this group and certain media organizations affiliated with it have a common funder – Open Society Foundations – and the media outlets tend to be of a certain stripe. Their affiliate in Hungary, Direkt36, enjoys funding from the same source – Open Society Foundation – and is a staunch critic of the government. Why did this relatively unknown group receive this “massive data leak”?
- What are they not telling us?
If this is really legit, what other information or data does this supposed “massive data leak” include, and what are they not telling us? The first media reports say that the Forbidden Stories’ consortium analysis of the leaked data identified “at least” ten governments to be customers of the company that produced the surveillance software. Why do they say “at least?” What other governments could be identified from the analysis of this “massive data leak”? Why would these reporters omit that information?
- Why haven’t they responded to the rebuttal?
The Israeli company, NSO, provided a detailed response, questioning many of the claims in the original reporting. None of the media outlets pushing this story have responded to the company’s claim that the reported 50,000 phone numbers on the list is grossly exaggerated and that there’s no way of showing that because a number appears on the list it’s a number that “was selected for surveillance using Pegasus.” Forbidden Stories never even asked NSO to verify or comment on the list. Why have the media covered this story not responded to that?
- Why aren’t they telling us the whole story?
And here’s one that came from the Twittersphere:
“Any access to the raw database/leakage or the undeniable evidence to us, mere citizens? Or is it a privilege of journalists?”
Now that’s a sharp question, isn’t it? What might they be withholding and why?
Watch it here: Youtube/The Guardian