Tharoor-led house panel will take up Pegasus scandal on July 28
New Delhi: Parliamentary Panel of IT headed by Congress MP, Shashi Tharoor will take up hearing on ‘Pegasus’ spyware snooping on Indian politicians, journalists and social activists on July 28.
The Parliament standing committee will discuss ‘citizens data security and privacy’, likely to call the officers of Ministry of Electronics and IT and officials of Home Ministry, seeking explanation from them.
Shashi Tharoor said the Pegasus reveal was a matter of serious national security concern and the government needed to give an explanation on the matter.
"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," Mr Tharoor said here on Wednesday.
Pegasus spyware has row disrupted the proceedings of the Parliament, opposition parties have made a combined attacks against the government seeking a JPC probe on it. The Israeli made Pegasus spyware providing service to only government agencies, Pegasus allegedly used against journalists, Indian politicians, judges and social activists.
The Wire, Washington Post and other media partners in the "Pegasus project" have revealed that the phone numbers of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, opposition politicians, poll strategist Prashant Kishor, two union ministers, Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee and 40 journalists were selected as potential targets of snooping. There is no evidence that all numbers found on a leaked database were hacked.
On the other hand, the Union government has denied the allegation of snooping on Indian politicians, journalists and others. IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw made a statement in the Parliament that there is no substance in the allegation on snooping.
The country has a well-established procedure in which lawful interception of electronic communication was carried out for the purpose of national security, particularly in the case of a public emergency or in the interest of public safety, the minister said in the Parliament.