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Controversial spyware firm with headquarters in Dublin under spotlight in newly published EU reportMEP Barry Andrews calling on Oireachtas Justice Committee to follow through on commitment to examin

A European Parliament report published today, 31st May 2023, casts light on Ireland’s role in the spyware scandal unfolding across the EU.


Following the recent revelations that several countries, including Member States, used Pegasus spyware against journalists, politicians, civil servants and others, a European Parliament committee of inquiry was set up to investigate the use of the Pegasus, Predator, and equivalent surveillance spyware.


The report, which was drafted by Dutch MEP Sophie In’t Veld of the Renew Europe group examines in detail the presence of Intellexa, the vendor of Predator spyware, in Ireland. It highlights that Thalestris Limited, the parent company of Intellexa, and Intellexa itself have their headquarters in Ireland, and are registered at a law firm in Balbriggan.


No investigation has, thus far, been carried out into Intellexa’s activities in Ireland.


The report also states that Israeli company, Go Networks, was reportedly associated with Intellexa by way of shared corporate ownership in Ireland. Former senior representatives of Israeli Go Networks were allegedly provided with top functions positions at Intellexa.


Ireland’s fiscal rules are identified as the main pull factor for such companies.


Following a request from Barry Andrews in February 2023, the Oireachtas Justice Committee committed to examining the existence of such companies in Ireland; companies who are involved in the production of spyware.

MEP Andrews said:


“This report is a true indictment of Ireland. By allowing these companies to reside on our territory, we are complicit in the efforts of malign actors to undermine democracy in our neighbouring countries. By failing to investigate our role, we legitimize such activities, in addition to exposing ourselves to serious security threats.


“The matter must be investigated by the Oireachtas Justice Committee as a matter of urgency and as committed to previously. Today I have been in touch with Chairperson of that Committee, James Lawless TD, who has assured me that he will seek a date to examine this matter as soon as possible

Andrews added:


“Our fiscal laws are an important component of our competitiveness. Nonetheless, we need further measures to ensure that bad actors are not the beneficiaries of our tax regime. Our competitiveness cannot come at the expense of civil liberties.”


The European Parliament plenary is due to vote on the report in July. The Irish government did not respond to questions posed by the drafters of the text.

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