The Department of Defense had previously stated that it would not do business with the Pegasus owner NSO Group; however, this does not extend to other ministries and departments of the government.
“The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has not allocated a budget to purchase such software,” said Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar in response to a parliamentary question from Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram. A screenshot of the question was taken by Chidambaram in a. divided tweet.
The Congressman inquired whether MeitY had allocated a budget to purchase software to intercept, monitor, or decrypt information that is generated, transmitted, received, or stored in computer resources as the regulations allow Section 69 of the Information Technology Act “. He also asked if the state had published global tenders for the purchase of such software.
Why is it important? When asked, the government tacitly replied whether it had bought Pegasus from the Israeli company. It is also evasive in that it neither confirms nor denies its involvement in ordering the surveillance of Indian citizens over Pegasus. In addition, the government has ignored any attempt by opposition activists to force a debate in parliament over allegations arising from the investigation into the Pegasus project.
Background: The Pegasus Project is a collaboration between 17 news organizations led by Forbidden stories and Amnesty International. Their investigation hit a data breach that revealed more than 50,000 phone numbers to be the target or potential target of snooping by several governments using Pegasus spyware. NSO Group, the developer of Pegasus, clarified that the spyware is only sold to governments and their agencies for use against terrorists and criminals. However, these are Names It turned out to be into journalism, activism, politics, business, bureaucracy, etc.
Why was the answer removed from Lok Sabha’s official website?
The question, which was supposed to be picked up on Aug. 11, was removed from the website shortly after it was uploaded on Wednesday, according to a tweet from Karti Chidambaram.
– Karti P Chidambaram (@KPCinParlament) August 11, 2021
His subsequent tweet also points out that the answer speaks only for MeitY and not for the entirety of the Indian government and its ministries.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat dismissed the allegation of wrongdoing by clarifying that no questions were uploaded on Wednesday as the House of Commons was put on hold after its 11 a.m. session, according to a report in The pressure.
“Since Question Time could not be used, all questions listed today are considered expired according to the rule,” an anonymous official told the website.
Government parliamentary statements on Pegasus in 2021
March 2021: MeitY said that “no such information is available” in answer In response to a parliamentary question from the deputies of Lok Sabha Maneka Gandhi and Dr. T. Sumathy on the presence of surveillance spyware in the country and whether the government has opened an investigation into the matter.
July 2021: IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw reiterated the comments made by former IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in 2019, stating that “our country’s best practices are in place to ensure that no unauthorized surveillance can take place”.
August 2021: The parliamentary request from Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Vishwam about Pegasus to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is blocked by the government is decided by a court.
It should be noted that the government has maintained a mixed position on how to deal with Pegasus-related issues in Parliament. MeitY and the Department of Defense responded to questions about Pegasus, but the government blocked a question to the State Department about whether it had an MoU with the NSO group, a report said in The cable.
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