IT minister Vaishnaw, Rahul Gandhi, Prashant Kishor among potential targets of Pegasus spyware: Report

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, election strategist Prashant Kishor, Trinamool leader Abhishek Banerjee are among the many potential targets of Israeli spyware Pegasus, according to reports.
In fact, the Pegasus list has also names of two ministers in the Union government including information technology minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, who had earlier today said in Lok Sabha that there was no substance in Pegasus project report.
The Wire, which was a part of Pegasus project that investigated possible snooping using the Israeli spyware in many countries, confirmed that at least two mobile phone accounts used by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were among 300 verified Indian numbers listed as potential targets.
“Such was the apparent interest in Gandhi that the numbers of five of his social friends and acquaintances were also placed on the list of potential targets. None of the five plays any role in politics or public affairs,” The Wire report said.
The Wire also said that in the midst of the heated West Bengal assembly election, the phone of poll strategist Prashant Kishor was broken into using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware, according to digital forensics conducted by Amnesty International’s Security Lab.
According to The Wire, the investigations have also revelaed that the mobile number of Abhishek Banerjee, the powerful Trinamool Congress MLA and nephew of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, was also selected as a potential target for surveillance by a government client of NSO Group.
Besides the politicians, the potential targets on the snoop list also includes the name of Supreme Court staffer who had made allegations against former Chief Justice of India Gogoi.
It also inlcludes the name of Ashok Lavasa, the former Election Commissioner, who had flagged poll code violations by Prime Minister Modi.
BJP is Bharatiya Jasoos Party, says Congress
With more names coming out in the open, the Congress slammed the Modi government and said “no other government has done such a shameful thing.”
Congress leader Randeep Surjewala took a dig at the BJP and said the BJP has become the “Bhartiya Jasoos Party”.

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