Users of Israeli spyware can look into the digital correspondence of individuals and the political opposition.
According to a Bloomberg report, Hungary also bought from the Israel spyware program which allows politicians, journalists, civil activists, and individuals to be monitored. In addition to Hungary, Russia, Uzbekistan, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Indonesia, and Singapore have acquired the spyware. The University of Toronto has unveiled the countries, with a tip from Microsoft.
Spyware was detected in 10 countries, targeting 100 people.
The Israeli company Candiru’s product can connect to a computer, smartphone, or any device that can access the internet. The program has taken advantage of the weaknesses of the Windows operating system, writes Népszava. The identities of the victims were not disclosed by Microsoft for security reasons.
Thanks to the program, the governments and authoritarian leaders of the countries concerned were able to view digital correspondence from individuals and political opponents. Earlier, NSO, another Israeli company, was found to be making a similar program. NSO claims that the purpose of its product is to stop law enforcement and terrorism. As a result, NSO decided not to sell to 55 countries, and security measures were taken to ensure that none of the customers abused the system.
Candiru’s software costs 16 million euros, allowing the user to observe 10 people at the same time.
For an additional 1.5 million euros, the number of observations can be increased by 15. The involvement of the Hungarian government is also problematic because the European Commission is increasingly opposed to Hungary. The Commission recently sued Hungary over the refugee law, but the paedophile law passed in Hungary was also a major concern.
According to some, this could be another step towards strengthening the rule of law and fundamental rights which, in the long run, could result in Hungary leaving the European Union, following the example of Great Britain.
Source: Bloomberg, Népszava