Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo/ANI
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo/ANI

Snooping row: Pegasus spyware was bought by government, its agencies, says Congress

ANI | Updated: Nov 03, 2019 21:00 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 3 (ANI): Congress party on Sunday took on the Centre over 'snooping' on activists, journalists and political persons, alleging that the government and its agencies bought the spyware 'Pegasus'.
"A perusal of the website of the Israeli firm NSO Group reflects that 'Pegasus' spyware and all NSO products are exclusively sold to the government only," Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said at a press conference here.
He said the Israeli firm has written to 'Citizen Lab' of Munk School of the University of Toronto, that their "product is licenced to government and law enforcement agencies for the sole purpose of investing and preventing crime and terror."
"It is, thus, clear that the government of India and its agencies bought the spyware. It could neither be bought nor deployed by any private operator," he said.
Stating that the BJP government now stands exposed before the nation for its role and complicity in the illegal and unconstitutional surveillance racket, Surjewla said that now it is time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to answer some major questions including who in the Government of India purchased and deployed the illegal spyware - 'Pegasus' from Israeli company NSO.
The Central government has asked WhatsApp to come out with an explanation on the breach of privacy and list out measures that have been taken to safeguard the privacy of millions of Indians.
On Saturday, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi dubbed the snooping on activists, journalists and political persons as illegal, stating that the Centre acquired an Israeli software to spy on citizens.
According to reports, WhatsApp revealed that journalists and activists in India have been the target of surveillance by operators using the Israeli spyware -- Pegasus.
The messaging platform said that it had reached out to the people, who were targeted but declined to reveal the identities and "exact number" of those who were targeted.
The messaging company has stated that it remains committed to protecting all messages of its users. (ANI)

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