August 1, 2021

“Project Pegasus” revelations spark political storm in India

The government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come under fire after growing revelations about the use of Israeli spyware Pegasus by Indian security agencies. On the second day of the summer parliamentary return, Tuesday, July 20, opposition members waved placards and chanted slogans in the assembly, leading to repeated suspensions of sessions. They are calling for an independent parliamentary inquiry to shed light on the thousand names selected by New Delhi as possible targets of spyware, one of the most sophisticated on the planet.

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A consortium of seventeen media from around the world, including The world is part, identified the numbers of the leader of the opposition, Rahul Gandhi, of about thirty journalists, officials of security agencies, two ministers of Mr. Modi, businessmen or activists human rights. Some of them were the potential target of spyware, before being accused of terrorism by the country’s intelligence services and then sent to prison despite the fragility of the evidence against them. India is the country with the highest number of potential targets, along with Morocco.

The BJP, “Party of the Spy People”

In the wake of the revelations, the Congress Party organized a press conference during which it denounced the ” treason “ and the« abdication » government in terms of ” National Safety “, by criticizing the fact that a foreign company, in this case the Israeli company NSO Group, was able to have access to sensitive information. The spyware can remotely activate the microphone or the camera of the smartphone, suck all the messages, the contents of the directory and extract geolocation data.

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Several rallies were also organized in the Indian capital at the initiative of the Congress Party, during which the demonstrators took out binoculars, magnifying glasses and telephone handsets wrapped around their necks to demand the resignation of the government. For the occasion, the old independence party renamed the Indian People’s Party (the ruling BJP), in “Party of the Spy People”.

As a sign that the threat is taken seriously by the BJP, the chief ministers of several states have stepped up to defend the government and denounce “Conspiracies” coming from abroad. The NGO Amnesty International, whose Security Lab is a technical partner of the media consortium, was also the target of the attacks. “We all know the role of Amnesty, they support leftist terrorism in India and work day and night to tarnish the country’s reputation in the world”, said Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of the State of Assam. The Minister of the Interior, Amit Shah, for his part lambasted on his Twitter account “Conspiracies” intended to do “To deviate India from its development path”.

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