NEW DELHI: A global report has revealed that the privacy of thousands of people globally has been compromised using illegal surveillance through the spyware Pegasus. This investigation has been done by the Guardian and 16 other media organisations.
Pegasus is a mass surveillance software and is manufactured by the Israel-based NSO Group.
Pegasus transforms phones into a surveillance tool that extracts messages, photos, and locations, activating the microphone to record people.
According to the report, over 3000 people in India, journalists, politicians, business people, NGO activists, Supreme Court judges have been surveyed illegally. As malware, it infects iPhones and Android devices.
India, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Bahrain, Mexico, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, among other nations have purchased this software. Over 50,000 numbers have been identified as “people of interest” since 2016.
After being attacked by the opposition over this controversy, Union Home Minister Amit Shah called it "a report by disrupters for the obstructers."
"Disrupters are global organisations which do not like India to progress. Obstructers are political players in India who do not want India to progress. People of India are very good at understanding this chronology and connection," he said in a statement.
In 2019, former Minister of Information and Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said no unauthorised surveillance has been done.