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Pegasus Spyware: All the latest facts on who was targeted, the modus operandi, and more

By Aroon Deep, Anushka Jain, Aihik Sur, and Karan HM The net of the victims of the alleged spyware attack using NSO Group's Pegasus keeps getting wider, with The Wire on Monday afternoon confirming that the spyware was found in the smartphone of election strategist Prashant Kishore. Other reports by The Wire, released on the same day said that clients of the NSO Group had shortlisted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, newly-inducted Minister for Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) Ashwini Vaishnaw, former member of the Election Commission Ashok Lavasa as "potential targets for surveillance". On Sunday, Forbidden Stories and partnered news outlets reported that several Indian activists, journalists, and politicians had been targeted between 2017 and 2019 by NSO’s Pegasus spyware that is only sold to nation-states.  Why this matters: These revelations have major implications on surveillance and privacy. While India has long been suspected of being a Pegasus buyer, the scale and nature of surveillance it has embarked upon, and the targets it seems to have picked, don’t appear to indicate national security concerns of organised crime dealings — for which surveillance is usually sanctioned. However, Monday's revelation by The Wire, which named Gandhi, Lavasa and others seemed to indicate that there can be political motive behind these cyber attacks. [embed]https://twitter.com/penpencildraw/status/1416998509853782018?s=19[/embed] The Indian government has not categorically denied spying on the individuals, but did cite surveillance laws and said that “allegations regarding government surveillance on specific people has no concrete basis or truth associated with it whatsoever”.  You can read the…

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