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IT Ministry says no budget for purchasing surveillance software but answer vanishes from Lok Sabha’s website

Previously, the Defence Ministry had stated that it had no dealings with the Pegasus-proprietor NSO Group; however, this does not extend to other government ministries and departments.   “Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has not allocated any budget to purchase any such software,” said Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar in response to a parliamentary question by Lok Sabha MP Karti Chidambaram. A screenshot of the question was shared by Chidambaram in a tweet. The Congress MP had enquired whether MeitY had allocated any budget “to purchase software to intercept, monitor or decrypt any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource, as permitted under Section 69 of the Information Technology Act”.  He had also asked if the State had floated any global tenders for the purchase of such software. Why it…

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