The NSO group of Israel that manufactures the Pegasus spyware is allegedly being used gain access to the personal information of 300 Indians including two cabinet ministers at the Centre.
The list of those who were being pried upon includes 40 journalists, activists a constitutional authority, politicians including three opposition leaders and scientists, says the French media non-profit, Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International.
The central government, however, categorically denied any allegations of the breach of privacy. Citing the accusation of the use of Pegasus on WhatsApp, it claims that the current one is also false and baseless.
The Centre also said that the only interception that has ever taken place is due to national interest under well-established protocols.
The opposition has not missed on the opportunity to take a jibe at them. After foreign media reported the leak of database of Indians, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “We know what he’s been reading- everything on your phone.”
It would not be surprising if this issue becomes the epicenter for a battle of words between the Modi government and the opposition.
A review of the leak revealed that atleast nine numbers belonged to eight people who were arrested in the Elgar Parishad Case. The Wire reported that the database included information on activists such as Shoma Sen and Hany Babu. Another 16 persons including the deceased Swamy were part of the data collection that illegally took place.
It is not necessary to completely rule out the possibility of the Centre’s involvement in the misuse of their authority and using the spyware to curb any resistance that threatens them.