Hyderabad: TPCC president and Malkajgiri MP Revanth Reddy ‘smelled the rat’ about governmental snooping of Indian citizens a year and a half ago.
Alleged snooping on politicians, journalists, judges, businessmen and others by Israel based spyware Pegasus kick-started a debate in the country ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament. Revanth Reddy suspected the snooping in December, 2019 and raised a question in Lok Sabha.
Replying to the question (unstarred, no.3686), then Union minister of state for electronics and information technology Sanjay Dhotre said the Government of India had been informed by WhatsApp of a vulnerability affecting some WhatsApp mobile user devices through a spyware namely Pegasus.
According to WhatsApp, the spyware was developed by Israel based NSO group and that it had used Pegasus to attempt and reach mobile phones of about 1400 users globally including 121 from India.
“Based on reports of snooping by Pegasus, the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) has sought submission of relevant details and information from WhatsApp and NSO Group,” the minister explained in the written answer.
Notably, Revanth Reddy had referred to the misuse of Israel based spyware in Telangana state on July 16 too. He had said that the state intelligence has been using Israel based spyware to tap the phones of Opposition parties and dissident sections in the state.
Revanth Reddy alleged that Intelligence IG Prabhakar Rao was responsible for snooping by maintaining a private army.
Ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament, the Pegasus spyware issue came to light via online website reports.
Union ministers described this as a “well planned” attempt to disrupt the Monsoon session by Opposition parties.
Home minister Amit Shah cited the “timing” of the snooping charges, but Congress MP Revanth Reddy proved it was “an old issue,” that he has been pursuing for the last one and half year.
Claiming this, Revanth Reddy on Wednesday demanded sedition charges be registered against those involved in snooping and home minister Amit Shah must resign. He said the Congress party will conduct Chalo Raj Bhavan programme across the country against the snooping....