Pegasus: Govt was the buyer says Chidambaram after Israeli envoy’s remarks
New Delhi, Oct 29: Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday attacked the Centre over the Pegasus snooping matter citing the Israeli envoy's remarks that his country does not allow firms like NSO to sell products to non-governmental actors, and claimed that in India's case, the "buyer was certainly the Government of India".
The Supreme Court on Wednesday set up a three-member independent expert panel to probe the alleged use of Israeli spyware Pegasus for targeted surveillance in India, observing the state cannot get a "free pass" every time the spectre of national security is raised and that its mere invocation cannot render the judiciary a "mute spectator".
"After the SC's wise and bold order in the Pegasus controversy, the first skeleton has tumbled out. Yesterday, Israel's Ambassador publicly stated that Pegasus spyware was sold only to government. So, in India's case, the buyer was certainly the Government of India," Chidambaram tweeted.
Will the Minister for Telecommunications admit that the buyer of Pegasus was the Government of India, he asked.
"If he remains silent, the blot on his report card will remain," Chidambaram said.
Israel's newly-appointed Ambassador to India Naor Gilon said on Thursday that Israel does not allow companies like NSO to sell their products to non-governmental actors.
"...Every export of NSO or such companies needs an export licence of the Israeli government. We grant this export licence only for exporting to governments," he had said.
"This is the only main requirement...Under the requirements, they cannot sell it to non-governmental actors. What's happening here in India is an internal thing for India and I would rather not go into your internal matters," Gilon said.