European Federation of Journalists

80 organisations call on the European Parliament to protect journalists and ban spyware

Credits: Joel Saget / AFP.

As the European Parliament gets set to vote on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA) next week, 80 civil society and journalists’ associations and unions, including the European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ), are calling on Members of European Parliament (MEPs) to ensure meaningful protection for journalists in the regulation by including a total ban on spyware.

On 3 October, the plenary of the European Parliament will vote on the European Media Freedom Act (EMFA). This regulation will create the first European legal framework to protect journalists and media service providers from intrusive surveillance technologies.

80 media, journalists, and human and digital rights organisations are calling on MEPs to ensure that the regulation achieves what it set out to do by including a full ban on the use of spyware against journalists.

The Parliament’s Civil Liberties (LIBE) committee has already voted on its position on the EMFA. Although they included, in their opinion, strong safeguards, their version of the law would still allow the use of spyware against journalists in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, this opinion does not go far enough and could still lead to abuse.

Spyware is a powerful tool that puts journalistic work, freedom of expression and ultimately, democratic values in danger. We urge MEPs to use the upcoming plenary vote as an opportunity to reign in the use of this powerful tool and ensure that journalists are protected.

Read our open letter to MEPs.