Pegasus row: IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw to speak in Parliament today
Union electronics and information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw is expected to speak in Rajya Sabha about the Pegasus hacking controversy today, according to the agenda of Parliament.
Vaishnaw and another Union minister were among prominent people potentially targeted by Israeli phone hacking software, Pegasus, an international investigative consortium reported on Monday. The report sparked a political storm on the first day of the monsoon session.
On Monday, Vaishnaw rejected the reports suggesting India used the spyware Pegasus to hack phones of journalists, activists, Opposition leaders, and ministers. He called them nothing but an "attempt to malign Indian democracy and its well-established institutions".
The Opposition has alleged that the names of several Indian politicians, journalists, lawyers, and activists appeared on the leaked list of potential targets for surveillance by an unidentified agency using Pegasus spyware. This comes following reports published in The Wire.
The website of Israel-made Pegasus spyware . Private Israeli firm NSO Group has denied media reports its Pegasus software is linked to the mass surveillance of journalists and rights defenders, and insisted that all sales of its technology are approved by Israels defence ministry. (AFP)
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To be sure, as the methodology of the investigation explains, the presence of a number does not indicate the individual's phone was hacked — just that it was of interest. The government has denied any involvement.