A cabal of 17 left-wing Soros media is conspiring to attack conservative governments worldwide over allegedly “spying on independent journalists” with the Pegasus spy software developed by NSO Group in Israel. These media now claim French President Macron was a target of the surveillance, despite presenting no evidence for the claim, which NSO Group denies.
Writing on About Hungary, Hungarian government spokesman Zoltán Kovács pointed out that Hungary’s spying laws are “some of the strictest” and far exceed the oversight over Democrat spying in the USA, for example.
Kovács pointed out that in Hungary, “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.” This stands in stark contrast to the mass gathering of data by the NSA as revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, for example.
Testifying before the US Senate Select Intelligence Committee on March 12, 2013, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”. Clapper answered “No, Sir … not wittingly.” This was later proven to be untrue. Clapper has never been held to acount for lying to the Senate.
Kovács also noted that “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.”
The corresponding US authority for spying on US citizens would be 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.
National security services in Hungary are supervised by the National Assembly’s National Security Committee, which “can only be led by an opposition MP”, Kovács wrote.
In the US Congress, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff, who is notorious as a partisan actor for the ruling democrats, and never hesitates to abuse his office for explicitly partisan purposes. The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is also chaired by a Democrat, Mark Warner of Virginia.
Kovács also notes that in Hungary, “the personnel of secret services may not conduct investigations and are forbidden from employing coercive measures.” This also stands in stark contrast to the US, where FBI investigators Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok conspired to entrap the National Security Advisor General Mike Flynn on orders of FBI head James Comey.
“The media on this story are pursuing an agenda. And in their determination to drive that agenda, they’ve abandoned objectivity”, Kovács writes about the campaign against Hungary. “Those who claim that Hungary’s laws on the security services are loose simply don’t know their facts.”
Kovács published the following rebuttal today:
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.
Thanks for the question. Because you asked, here are a few that the critical observer should be asking:
1. 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?
2. 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”?
3. 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?
4. 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 covering this story not responded to that?
5. 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?