New Delhi, Nov3 : Taking a dig at the Centre over the snooping row, the Congress party here on Sunday said that the BJP-led government was aware of snooping on politicians, social activists and journalists ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election but still kept quiet.
Addressing a press conference at the party's headquarters, the party’s communication-in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala placed some documents and claimed that Facebook-owned WhatsApp had informed Indian authorities about the snooping and spyware ‘Pegasus’ which was used to hack cell phones in the run-up to the 2019 General Elections and BJP Government was fully aware of the same.
He also said that the said company sold this spyware to the Government authority only. The illegal spyware ‘Pegasus’ was allegedly used to hack and spy upon politicians, journalists, lawyers, civil society groups and human rights defenders.
"The BJP Government is the deployer and executor of this illegal and unconstitutional snooping and spying racket. The new acronym for BJP is Bhartiya Jasoos Party", Mr Surjewala alleged.
"When this matter was revealed in US on October 30, Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad sought explanations from the company next day,'' he claimed.
“Since Government was aware of the illegal purchase and deployment of the ‘Pegasus’ spyware since April-May, 2019; why did it chose to stay mum?”Mr Surjewala asked.
He also asked what action shall be taken against those guilty of purchasing and deploying of ‘Pegasus’.
"Is the Government, including its Ministers and officers not criminally culpable and liable to be punished in terms of Sections 24, 25 and 26 of the Telegraph Act, 1885 and Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000?" he asked. (UNI)