Journalism in Europe is under threat. Surveillance and other intimidation tactics are limiting journalistic reporting and restricting the public’s access to a plurality of trustworthy and independent reporting. The PEGA Committee (Committee of Inquiry to investigate the use of Pegasus and equivalent surveillance spyware) demonstrated how Member States have bypassed established legal safeguards to put journalists under intrusive surveillance. Current legal protections are de facto completely ineffective.
On 2 October, the EU Parliament will vote on the draft report on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA). This regulation will in part create the first European legal framework to protect journalists and media service providers from intrusive surveillance technologies. Media, journalists and human and digital rights organisations are calling for an unconditional prohibition of the use of spyware against journalists in Article 4.