Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday (July 19) took a dig at the government after a report disclosed that phone numbers of Union ministers, Opposition leaders and journalists among others were found on the leaked database of clients who used Israeli spyware Pegasus.
“We know what he’s been reading – everything on your phone! #Pegasushttps://t.co/d6spyji5NA,” Rahul said in what is being seen as a veiled dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 19, 2021
Rahul was replying to a three-day-old tweet where he had said, “I’m wondering what you guys are reading these days.”
A report in The Wire, published on Sunday, revealed that the surveillance software Pegasus, only available to governments, has been used to hack into 300 ‘verified’ Indian telephone numbers including that of two Union ministers, three Opposition leaders, a constitutional authority and several journalists, scientists and businessmen among others. The revelation was made by a global collaborative investigative project constituting 16 media firms including The Wire.
Forensic reports which tried matching a cross section of phones related with the hacked numbers, found 37 phones including 10 in India of being targeted by the Pegasus spyware.
The NSO, which is said to be selling the spyware to the intelligence, military and law enforcement agencies of 36-odd countries, has refuted allegations that the leaked database contained phone numbers of people selected as targets by its clients.
The Indian government too has rubbished any involvement and has said that the allegations about surveillance on some people has “no concrete basis”.
The government did not specify clearly if it was using the Pegasus spyware, but said that, “Each case of interception, monitoring, and decryption is approved by the competent authority…The procedure therefore ensure that any interception, monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer resource is done as per due process of law.”