Congress leader Manish Tewari. (File Photo: IANS)
Congress leader Manish Tewari. (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, July 27 : Congress leader Manish Tewari on Tuesday gave a notice to move a motion for the adjournment of Business in the Lok Sabha to discuss the Pegasus snooping issue.

In his notice, Congress Lok Sabha MP from Punjab said, "I hereby give notice of my intention to ask for leave to move a motion for the adjournment of the Business of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent importance, namely: Reports have pointed out that the Government of India has procured the surveillance tool Pegasus developed by Israeli company NSO group for surveillance of Journalists, Civil Society activists, politicians and Supreme Court Judges. Since the NSO group's policy is that clients are confined to "vetted governments" only it suggests that the spyware was used by the GoI and not any other private body." He said that reputed agencies like 'Citizen Lab' have found traces of the spyware on some of the devices that were attacked.

"It should be noted that this kind of surveillance classifies as hacking, which is what a spyware does and it would very much qualify as 'unauthorised interception' or hacking as per Information Technology Act, 2000." "The fact is that the government has not categorically denied that Pegasus has been used officially. Sir this is a matter of grave concern and therefore I wish to raise the same," he added.

The issue triggered a stormy start to the Monsoon Session after a global collaborative investigative project revealed that Israeli company NSO Groups' Pegasus spyware was targeted over 300 mobile phone numbers in India, including that of two ministers in the Narendra Modi government, three Opposition leaders, constitutional authority, several journalists and business persons.

It snowballed last Tuesday after it came to fore that in July 2019, phone numbers of Karnataka's then Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwara and the personal secretaries of then Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, were selected as possible targets for surveillance.

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