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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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Ministry of defense claims no transaction with NSO group

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The Ministry of Defense said on Monday that it had not conducted any transactions with the NSO Group, the Israeli company at the center of suspected espionage involving Pegasus Spyware. 

Ministry

The Ministry of Defense has not entered into any transactions with NSO Group Technologies,” Defense Minister Ajay Bart said in response to a question about Rajya Sabha. He was questioned about the government’s dealings with NSO Group Technologies.

Also read: Parliament Passes Bill to Amend Arunachal Pradesh’s Scheduled Tribes List

Government makes comment for first time about pegasus

This is the first time the government has answered a sharp question about spying on Pegasus. During the current monsoon gathering, the opposition launched a severe attack on the government, asking to conduct a broad discussion on this topic.

Allegations on government targeting prominent Indian individuals using Israeli software

A large-scale controversy broke out last month, accusing the government of using Israeli software to monitor several prominent figures in the country. 

An international media consortium reported that more than 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers are on the list of possible targets for surveillance using Pegasus spyware from the Israeli company NSO.

Individuals who were databased by Pegasus

pegasus Ministry The North-Eastern Chronicle

Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi, two union ministers, Prallad Singh Patel, the Minister of Railways, and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, businessman Anil Ambani, a former CBI director, and at least 40 journalists are all in the database filtered by NSO. However, not all mobile phones have been hacked.

IT and Communication Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw dismissed media reports on using Pegasus

Ashwini Vaishnaw Ministry The North-Eastern Chronicle

The Minister of Information and Communication Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw refuted media reports about the use of Pegasus software to monitor Indians, saying the allegations made before the parliamentary monsoon meeting were intended to discredit India’s democracy. 

It has been stated that it is impossible for unauthorized persons to conduct “any form of illegal surveillance” in India with various checks and balances in place.

Government had denied all the reports related to surveillance

The government had also denied the reports of surveillance, saying that such allegations have no concrete basis or truth associated with it whatsoever.

In a detailed statement, the government had described news reports based on the Pegasus leak, a “fishing expedition” meant to malign Indian democracy and its institutions.

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