Report: Israeli Firm Seeks Sale of Tracking Software to Hungary

By Hamodia Staff

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban attends the autumn session of parliament in Budapest, Monday. (Reuters/Bernadett Szabo)

YERUSHALAYIM – An Israeli technology firm is seeking to sell software for tracking social media activities to Hungary, a senior official in the company told The Times of Israel’s Hebrew sister site Zman Yisrael on Wednesday.

The technology is ostensibly to be used for monitoring public opinion. However, the official noted that, in view of Hungary’s controversial support for Russia in the Ukraine war and the influx of tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees into the country, some of them illegally, it is likely that the government’s interest is in keeping close watch on potential sources of trouble.

Avnon Group must submit its foreign sales to the Defense Ministry for approval, and the Hungarian deal would be no exception. But the Ministry would not immediately comment on the matter.

In recent years, the right-wing government led by Victor Orban has been accused of human rights violations and allegedly used the Israeli NSO Group’s Pegasus software to hack and monitor the phones of journalists, politicians and human rights activists.

Last March, the European Union announced an investigation into the alleged use of the Pegasus software by both Hungary and Poland.

Earlier this month, the E.U. threatened political and economic sanctions on Hungary, charging that the country has become an “electoral autocracy.” In response to a barrage of international criticism, Israel has promised tougher scrutiny of technology exports that could be used for anti-democratic purposes.

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