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The international press continues to acknowledge that Spain is in deep trouble over Catalangate. In a report published on Sunday by The Guardian, the cybersecurity expert and director of Citizen Lab, Ron Deibert, warns that the magnitude of the espionage centred on the Catalan independence movement has "plunged Spain into a crisis of democratic and national security", which can only be resolved through an independent investigation". In the interview, the newspaper states that, despite the 'sacking' of former National Intelligence Centre director Paz Esteban, "the scandal is refusing to go away." "It looks to me like the intelligence chief was used as a sacrificial lamb," says Deibert, adding that that move by Pedro Sánchez's executive "did not answer any of the questions of who purchased the spyware, who authorised it, how was the justification given to go after people who are clearly not legitimate targets by any reasonable international standard, and involving gross violations of privacy rights."

"Ostensibly democratic"

As the cybersecurity expert who led the exposure of the CatalanGate scandal explained to the British newspaper, spying on activists and journalists is not compatible with "an ostensibly democratic society" . That is why he insisted on the demand made repeatedly by Citizen Lab that an independent commission must be opened to bring out the facts. In the interview, Deibert believes that the discovery that the cellphones of the Spanish defence minister, Margarita Robles, and prime minister Sánchez, had also been spied on, is another important argument for holding such an inquiry. However, the Citizen Lab director is incredulous about the lack of any reaction to the affair in Spain: "What's going on? If I were a Spanish citizen, I would be demanding such an impartial inquiry. But it seems that it may not happen," he laments, because people see it as a "problem of Catalonia". In the interview, the expert was even more surprised "by the complacency he saw" despite the magnitude of the scandal, as well as being "disappointed that many people in the country seem to have no problem with "the targeting of the Catalan leaders".

It is this lack of any reaction or outrage over a flagrant violation of rights that makes Deibert despair. The expert does not understand that an attempt is being made to normalize this case under the pretext that it is only about the Catalan independence movement. For Deibert, this is irrelevant, and goes beyond the Catalan situation and the pro-independence leaders: Spain is facing an authentic "crisis of democracy". "To me what this illustrates is that you have this extraordinarily powerful surveillance technology – and a market that’s supplying it that’s almost entirely unregulated – being used by governments, as this case illustrates, that are unaccountable and have major public accountability and oversight problems. And so this is really a crisis of democracy – that’s the way I think about it – in Spain," he told The Guardian.