Shashi Tharoor-headed Standing Committee on IT to discuss Pegasus snooping issue today

·2 min read

New Delhi: The Standing Committee on Information Technology, headed by senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, is scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss the alleged phone tapping of politicians, journalists and others using Pegasus spyware.

Parliamentary panel on Information Technology will question government officials on allegations relating to suspected phone tapping of politicians, journalists and others using Pegasus spyware, the committee chairman and senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Tuesday asserting that it is the "most important issue" for many members.

The 32-member Parliamentary Standing Committee on IT is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, for which the listed agenda is "Citizens' data security and privacy", according to a notification issued by Lok Sabha Secretariat.

The panel, which has the maximum members from the ruling BJP, has summoned officials from the Ministry of Electronics, Information and Technology and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

An international media consortium has reported that over 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers were on a list of potential targets for surveillance using Israeli firm NSO's Pegasus spyware.

Opposition leaders including Rahul Gandhi, two Union ministers -- Prahlad Singh Patel and Railways and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, a former CBI chief, and at least 40 journalists are on the list on the leaked database of NSO. It is, however, not established that all the phones were hacked.

"The subject of Citizens Data Privacy and Security is an approved agenda item of the committee and it was under this item that we had earlier discussed the Pegasus issue in November-December last year. So it's a continuing issue.

There would be other questions as well, as this is not necessarily the only issue. But, for many of us in the committee this is perhaps the most important issue," Tharoor said.

With PTI inputs

Also See: 'Chronology samjhiye': Amit Shah questions timing of Pegasus report; Opposition seeks probe

Rahul Gandhi, Union ministers Vaishnaw and Patel, Prashant Kishor among potential snooping targets: Reports

Rakesh Asthana, Gujarat-cadre IPS officer and former CBI Special Director, appointed Delhi Police commissioner

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