Pegasus ‘snooping’: Several prominent names on the ‘list’ | India News

Pegasus ‘snooping’: Several prominent names on the ‘list’ | India News


NEW DELHI: Phone numbers of several individuals, including politicians, former bureaucrats and activists were allegedly on a list for surveillance using the Pegasus spyware, according to reports published in The Wire.
NSO, the Israeli firm that developed the software has maintained that a number figuring on a data list is not conclusive evidence of surveillance or phone being compromised.
Some of the prominent Indians whose names are said to be on the list:
Rahul Gandhi, Congress MP: At least two mobile phones used by Rahul Gandhi were listed as potential targets. Numbers of five of his social friends and acquaintances were also on the list. None of the five plays any role in politics or public affairs.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, IT minister: The IT minister told the Lok Sabha on Monday that there was no substance in the media reports suggesting surveillance of certain individuals using Pegasus. Ironically, his phone number was also on the list of likely targets, according to The Wire.
Ashok Lavasa, ex-election commissioner: The former bureaucrat’s name has also figured on the list of likely targets. He had flagged alleged poll code violations by PM Modi in the run up to 2019 Lok Sabha polls. After his stint at the EC, he joined the Asian Development Bank as a vice-president.
Prashant Kishor, poll strategist: Kishor was working for Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress for the Bengal Assembly elections earlier this year. The Wire reported his phone was broken into around that time, using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware.
Abhishek Banerjee, TMC leader: Banerjee, the nephew of Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, was a star campaigner for the Trinamool Congress for the Bengal elections. His phone was also selected as a potential target for surveillance by a government client of NSO Group, according to The Wire.
Supreme Court staffer: Three phone numbers linked to a woman staffer of the apex court, who had brought allegations of sexual harasment against former CJI Ranjan Gogoi, were also on the Pegasus list. Gogoi denied the harassment charges, and was exonerated after an in-house probe by a three judge panel of the SC.





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