New Delhi: More key names surfaced on Monday in the Pegasus spyware snooping row, including Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and election strategist Prashant Kishor.
The Pegasus spyware snooping row erupted on Sunday, a day ahead of Parliament’s Monsoon Session, after it emerged that around 50,000 phone numbers, including around 300 belonging to Indians, were part of a database leak and linked to Israeli company NSO Group.
These phone numbers were either put under surveillance or were potential targets of snooping.
The Wire, which is part of the global collaborative network of 16 media publications that investigated the leak along with French non-profit Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International, today dropped a bombshell that Rahul Gandhi and Kishor were also allegedly targets of Pegasus snooping.
The report said the spyware called Pegasus was confirmed to be found on Kishor’s mobile phone. In the case of Rahul Gandhi as well as two ministers in the Narendra Modi government – newly-appointed Information Technology and Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Minister of State for Jal Shakti Prahlad Patel, their numbers were put on the list of potential snooping targets.
Further, the list of potential targets includes the name of former election commissioner Ashok Lavasa and Jagdeep Chhokhar, founder of the election watchdog ADR (Association for Democratic Reforms).
In the case of Rahul Gandhi, two numbers belonging to him are reported to have been put on the potential targets’ list. The Wire reported that the numbers of five of Rahul’s friends and acquaintances were also targeted.
Rahul is reported to have discontinued using these two numbers now. These numbers are believed to have been targeted from mid-2018 to mid-2019.