The expansive list of Pegasus targets also reportedly includes Periyarist activists, members of the Dalai Lama’s inner circle, and the Bihar Cricket Association chief. An investigation by The Wire revealed that the phone numbers of a junior official in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), a former employee at Niti Aayog, and a key aide of Arvind Kejriwal were listed as potential targets for surveillance in the leaked list of more than 50,000 phone numbers accessed by the Pegasus Project. Why it matters? The investigation carried out by a consortium of 17 media organisations, which is led by Forbidden Stories with forensic analysis by Amnesty International, has caused a furore all over the world and has severe ramifications on issues pertaining to privacy, security, and surveillance. It is also important to note that the spyware is classified as a cyber weapon to be sold exclusively to government clients and is authorised for use against terrorists and criminals, according to the NSO Group. However, the consortium uncovered that the spyware was reportedly deployed against heads of state, government officials, journalists, activists, and lawyers, among others. Who are the bureaucrats identified as potential targets for surveillance? A report by The Wire puts the spotlight on bureaucrats whose names have emerged in the leaked database: V.K.Jain: Jain, a 1984-batch DANICS and 2001-batch IAS officer, was considered to be a close aide of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The Delhi CM appointed Jain in his office as his advisor and consultant in September 2017 – a stint…
Pegasus surveillance dragnet of potential targets widens to include NITI Aayog and PMO officials along with Delhi CM Kejriwal’s aide
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