India targeted Imran’s number via Israeli spyware Targeted surveillance is deplorable: Rahul

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Islamabad

India targeted a phone which was earlier in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s use through an Israeli firm’s malware, Haaretz reported Monday, igniting fears of widespread privacy and rights abuses.

Several Pakistani officials, Kashmiri freedom fighters, Indian Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, and even an Indian supreme court judge were targetted, the publication said.

India tried to tap the Federal Cabinet members’ calls and messages through the spyware, prompting Pakistan to develop new software for its federal ministers.

Following the development, a high-level meeting of the civil and military leadership was called which will decide a future course of action against India’s spying attempt.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi in response to the development said: “Targeted surveillance of the type you describe, whether in regard to me, other leaders of the opposition, or indeed any law-abiding citizen of India, is illegal and deplorable.”

“If your information is correct, the scale and nature of surveillance you describe go beyond an attack on the privacy of individuals. It is an attack on the democratic foundations of our country.

It must be thoroughly investigated, and those responsible be identified and punished.” The Congress leader changes his cellphone after every few months in a bid to avoid being hacked.

Per the publication, New Delhi did not confirm nor deny whether it was a client of the Israeli firm NSO or not, however, its laws do not bind the government to disclose the use of said technology.

India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, responding to questions from The Washington Post, said the claim that specific people were targeted “had no concrete basis or truth associated with it whatsoever.”

“Any interception, monitoring, or decryption of any information through any computer resource is done as per the due process of law,” it added.

It is pertinent to mention here that according to Reuters, India is Israel’s biggest arms consumer, which buys around $1 billion worth of weapons every year. Activists, journalists and politicians around the world have been spied on using cellphone malware developed by a private Israeli firm, reports said Sunday, igniting fears of widespread privacy and rights abuses.

The use of the software, called Pegasus and developed by Israel’s NSO Group, was reported on by The Washington Post, the Guardian, Le Monde and other news outlets who collaborated on an investigation into a data leak.—News Desk

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