Pegasus Project | Rahul Gandhi, Prashant Kishor, ex-CJI Ranjan Gogoi's staffer among potential surveillance targets

Tatvamasi

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Jan 5, 2018
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Leader of the Congress party Rahul Gandhi was also a potential surveillance target in leaked phone data, adding him to the list of as many as 300 prominent leaders, journalists and activists whose numbers were found on a leaked database of targets for hacking that used Israeli spyware 'Pegasus', a report by the Guardian said on July 19.

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, news portal the Wire reported on July 19.

Another report by The Wire said phone numbers of Ashwini Vaishnaw, newly-inducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his minister of communications, electronics and information technology, and railways, and Prahlad Singh Patel, minister of state for Jal Shakti, or water, were among the 300 verified Indian numbers listed as potential targets for surveillance during 2017-2019 by a client of the Israel-based NSO group.

Vaishnaw defended the government in Lok Sabha on July 19 calling the report 'sensationalism and without substance.'

As per another report by the Guardian, two numbers identified as belonging to Rahul Gandhi were chosen as candidates for potential surveillance. This was for the period during the vote as well as the months that followed by NSO, whose spying tool 'Pegasus' allows customers to infiltrate mobile phones and monitor messages, camera feeds and microphones.

Numbers belonging to at least five of Rahul Gandhi's closest friends and other Congress party officials were also noted as potential targets for surveillance using the spyware, a leaked list of potential targets selected by NSO customers revealed.

This data was seen and accessed by the nonprofit journalism organisation Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International and shared with the Guardian and other media outlets as part of the Pegasus project.

Rahul Gandhi was unable to provide the device he used at the time of examination, as he changes his handset frequently to avoid surveillance, the report said.

Gandhi was not the only one who was on the list for potential surveillance. Three phone numbers belonging to the SC staffer who accused former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment in April 2019 were selected as potential targets for surveillance by an official – but unidentified – Indian agency, according to the Wire report

As per the report, a staffer involved in the case where Gogoi was accused of sexual harassment was fired in 2018 after she refused the judge's advances. A few days after her recording of allegations in a sworn testimonial on April 20, 2019, she was marked as a person of interest, an analysis of a leaked list of phone numbers accessed by French media non-profit Forbidden Stories showed.

These records also showed that during the week of her allegations against the former CJI coming to light, eight other phone numbers belonging to her husband and two of his brothers were also marked as possible candidates for surveillance.

In total, about 11 numbers associated with the complainant and her family were selected. This makes them the largest cluster of associated phone numbers in India.

 

Tatvamasi

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Several Delhi-based diplomats, staff of international NGOs on Pegasus list


New Delhi has hostile relations with China and Pakistan at present, and their diplomats are under close watch, but it is significant that the list included several countries that India has very friendly ties with as well.

“The numbers of [Pakistan Prime Minister] Imran Khan and several of his ambassadors in India appear on the list as potential targets. Dozens of other Delhi-based diplomats and ambassadors are also included, from Iran, Afghanistan, China, Nepal and Saudi Arabia,” the report published on Monday in Le Monde said, adding that the number of Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India was on the list too.


According to the Washington Post, Mr. Khan did not respond to a request for comment. The Hindu requested responses from each of the embassies and high commissions listed in the reports, but did not receive any. Officials in the Ministry of External Affairs said they were unaware of the issue being raised by the diplomatic missions in meetings with the government thus far.

Both the Gates Foundation and CDC have had some run ins over FCRA regulations with the Modi government in the last few years. While a Gates- backed NGO was barred from receiving any foreign funds in 2017, CDC was placed on a "prior permissions" watchlist for foreign funding in December 2019.

"The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has no comment," the CDC said in a statement to The Hindu

According to the report in the Le Monde, the use of Pegasus software began “just after” Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel in July 2017, a visit that was marked by his close interactions with then PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

In responses to the media stories, the NSO Group had made it clear that the Israel government had to approve all exports of technology like Pegasus, and that it is only sold “solely to law enforcement and intelligence agencies of vetted governments”.

More than 50,000 phone numbers of citizens clustered mainly in Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Hungary, India, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been studied as a part of the international collaboration by NGOs and media organisations investigating phone surveillance using Pegasus.

The government has denied any wrong doing or carrying out any unauthorised surveillance, but has not confirmed or denied whether it has purchased or deployed Pegasus spyware.
 

jetray

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Mar 15, 2018
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Dint this name pegasus pop up some time before that, messages sent via watsapp used to install apps for monitoring. The israeli connection is certainly not unexpected.
 

AbRaj

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Dec 6, 2017
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Republic of Wadiya
Leader of the Congress party Rahul Gandhi was also a potential surveillance target in leaked phone data, adding him to the list of as many as 300 prominent leaders, journalists and activists whose numbers were found on a leaked database of targets for hacking that used Israeli spyware 'Pegasus', a report by the Guardian said on July 19.

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, news portal the Wire reported on July 19.

Another report by The Wire said phone numbers of Ashwini Vaishnaw, newly-inducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his minister of communications, electronics and information technology, and railways, and Prahlad Singh Patel, minister of state for Jal Shakti, or water, were among the 300 verified Indian numbers listed as potential targets for surveillance during 2017-2019 by a client of the Israel-based NSO group.

Vaishnaw defended the government in Lok Sabha on July 19 calling the report 'sensationalism and without substance.'

As per another report by the Guardian, two numbers identified as belonging to Rahul Gandhi were chosen as candidates for potential surveillance. This was for the period during the vote as well as the months that followed by NSO, whose spying tool 'Pegasus' allows customers to infiltrate mobile phones and monitor messages, camera feeds and microphones.

Numbers belonging to at least five of Rahul Gandhi's closest friends and other Congress party officials were also noted as potential targets for surveillance using the spyware, a leaked list of potential targets selected by NSO customers revealed.

This data was seen and accessed by the nonprofit journalism organisation Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International and shared with the Guardian and other media outlets as part of the Pegasus project.

Rahul Gandhi was unable to provide the device he used at the time of examination, as he changes his handset frequently to avoid surveillance, the report said.

Gandhi was not the only one who was on the list for potential surveillance. Three phone numbers belonging to the SC staffer who accused former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment in April 2019 were selected as potential targets for surveillance by an official – but unidentified – Indian agency, according to the Wire report

As per the report, a staffer involved in the case where Gogoi was accused of sexual harassment was fired in 2018 after she refused the judge's advances. A few days after her recording of allegations in a sworn testimonial on April 20, 2019, she was marked as a person of interest, an analysis of a leaked list of phone numbers accessed by French media non-profit Forbidden Stories showed.

These records also showed that during the week of her allegations against the former CJI coming to light, eight other phone numbers belonging to her husband and two of his brothers were also marked as possible candidates for surveillance.

In total, about 11 numbers associated with the complainant and her family were selected. This makes them the largest cluster of associated phone numbers in India.

RaGa and his mother are signatories to the MOU/Pact between INC of India and CPC of China with the then chairman Mr Xi Xingping. The event happened during Beijing Olympics.
So he’s a national security threat and therefore a legitimate target .
He’s a dangerous manchild and even I’d have done the same.
 
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Lolwa

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Feb 6, 2020
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RaGa and his mother are signatories to the MOU/Pact between INC of India and CPC of China with the then chairman Mr Xi Xingping. The event happened during Beijing Olympics.
So he’s a national security threat and therefore a legitimate target .
He’s a dangerous manchild and even I’d have done the same.
All of the ones being spied are all shady characters and politicians. I really don't think there's any problem considering how backstabbing these guys are...