Pegasus row: Parliamentary panel to question Centre on July 28
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor-led Parliamentary Committee on Information and Technology (IT) will take up the Pegasus scandal for inquiry on July 28. The issue has rocked the Parliament's monsoon session as the Opposition demanded a probe on the alleged scandal. The committee will reportedly look into the allegations that journalists, activists, Opposition politicians, etc., were illegally surveilled using Israeli spyware named Pegasus.
Home, IT, Communication Ministries to be called for questioning
In a statement, the IT panel said that it will discuss "citizens' data security and privacy." The panel will also likely question representatives of the Home Ministry, the IT Ministry, and the Communications Ministry. However, this is not the first time the committee has taken up the issue of Pegasus. In 2019, it had flagged concerns about WhatsApp's vulnerability to the Israeli spyware.
Serious matter of security concern: Tharoor
Terming the revelations a threat to national security, Shashi Tharoor said, "It has been proved that phones examined in India had an invasion of Pegasus. Since this product is only sold to vetted governments, the question arises which government?" "If the Government of India says they have not done it, some other government did it, then it is a more serious national security concern."
Pegasus scandal has become political storm
The investigation on the Pegasus spyware by a global consortium of media houses has created a political storm in India with many shocking revelations of surveillance on politicians, journalists, lawyers, human rights activists, etc. On Tuesday, it was revealed that the phone numbers of those linked to the former Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress government in Karnataka were surveilled when the coalition government crumbled in 2019.
Who all are there in the list of Pegasus surveillance?
Since the story on Pegasus surveillance broke on Sunday, the names of many prominent Indians are coming to the fore as potential targets of the spyware. Apart from the 40 Indian journalists, other potential targets of Pegasus reportedly include Opposition leaders such as Rahul Gandhi, Abhishek Banerjee, and election strategist Prashant Kishor. Meanwhile, the Indian government has denied any involvement in the matter.