Claim that Indian journalists, activists, politicians were snooped upon a complete lie says govt
New Delhi, July 19: There has been a storm over the Pegasus report in which it was reported that government was snooping on several activists, journalists and politicians.
The claim that the data was leaked is a complete lie. The data never existed on our servers, the government has clarified. NSO Group has good reason to believe claims made by unnamed sources to Forbidden Stories, are based on misleading interpretation of data from accessible & overt basic information, such as HLR Lookup services, which have no bearing on the list of customers targets of Pegasus, the government also said.
It seems like the "unidentified sources" have supplied information that has no factual basis and are far from reality. After checking their claims, we firmly deny the false allegations made in their report, the government also said.
"Their sources have supplied them with information which has no factual basis, as evident by the lack of supporting documentation for many of their claims. In fact, these allegations are so outrageous and far from reality, that NSO is considering a defamation lawsuit," the government further said.
"India is a robust democracy that is committed to ensuring the right to privacy to all its citizens as a fundamental right. In furtherance of this commitment, it has also introduced the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 and the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, to protect the personal data of individuals and to empower users of social media platforms."
"The commitment to free speech as a fundamental right is the cornerstone of India's democratic system. We have always strived to attain an informed citizenry with an emphasis on a culture of open dialogue. However, the questionnaire sent to the Government of India indicates that the story being crafted is one that is not only bereft of facts but also founded in pre-conceived conclusions. It seems you are trying to play the role of an investigator, prosecutor as well as jury," Dr Rajendra Kumar, additional secretary of ministry of electronics and information technology said.
"Considering the fact that answers to the queries posed have already been in public domain for a long time, it also indicates poorly conducted research and lack of due diligence by the esteemed media organizations involved."
"Government of India's response to a Right to Information application about the use of Pegasus has been prominently reported by media and is in itself sufficient to counter any malicious claims about the alleged association between the Government of India and Pegasus," Kumar also said.
"It seems like the "unidentified sources" have supplied information that has no factual basis and are far from reality. After checking their claims, we firmly deny the false allegations made in their report," the government also said.
Indian journalists, ministers on snoop list
Claim that data was leaked is a complete lie says government