Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez today announced a reform of the law governing the operation of the intelligence services, with the main aim of “strengthening judicial control”, following a scandalous espionage scandal.
“This is to strengthen the guarantees of this control, but also to ensure maximum respect for the individual and political rights of the people,” the left-wing government leader told parliament.
Sanchez also announced the imminent adoption of a new law on “confidential information”, as the current legislation dates back to 1968, the time of Franco’s dictatorship.
“It is imperative that the regulation be adapted to democratic, constitutional principles,” he added.
The scandal, which led to the resignation of the head of the National Intelligence Center (CNI), Path Esteban, erupted last month after it was revealed that the phones of Catalan separatists were monitored by the Spanish intelligence services through the Israeli spy software Pegasus.
The Catalan separatists had then threatened to withdraw their support from the Sanchez minority government, risking a fall before the end of its 2023 term.
The case then took on another dimension when the government revealed that Sanchez and the Secretary of Defense were being monitored with the software themselves, this time as part of an “external attack”, the perpetrator of which remains unknown to this day.
The reforms announced today “will modernize the procedures (…) so that these security breaches are not repeated in the future,” the Spanish prime minister said.
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