New Delhi4 minutes agoAuthor: Sandhya Dwivedi
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The case of spying of media persons, politicians, judges through Pegasus project is currently in discussion all over the country. The data obtained by Amnesty Association and French media company Forbidden Stories has been shared with 16 media organizations around the world. Information related to the data has been made available to the news portal The Wire from India.
The Wire on Sunday night shared a report related to espionage, which has many big media personalities. The name of Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editor of The Wire, is also included in this. Other journalists of The Wire are also on the list. Varadarajan is shocked when the names of himself, his associates and others appear in the report. He considers it an infringement of freedom of expression.
Know how he answered Dainik Bhaskar’s questions…. Question- How did you get the report monitoring Pegasus spyware? – This is not a report, but a database of phone numbers. French media NGO Forbidden Stories acquired it. The data was shared with 16 media organizations. The Wire is one of them.
Question- What preparations did you make to publish this?
All the media groups that had this data worked together to verify this data. Talked to the people whose phone numbers were included in this. We tried that their phone (instruments) should be scientifically tested i.e. forensic test.
Question- Even before the report came out, did you feel that you were under surveillance? Is your phone being monitored?
For a long time it seemed that I was being watched. My phone is being monitored, but there is a big difference between thinking so and actually showing evidence of it. Meaning I used to think that my phone is under surveillance, but after the technical confirmation, everything is shocking.
Question- Why surveillance only on journalists? Why only these 40 journalists? why you?
See – Surveillance or spying on journalists is a part of the process of intent to attack the freedom of the media. The purpose behind doing this is to prevent certain stories from being investigated and published. We have a list of 40 people, but of course this list will be much bigger than that.
Question- Is the government trying to curb the freedom of expression?
– NSO sells its product Pegasus only to governments. The Indian government has not prohibited the use of Pegasus. It is therefore logical to assume that Pegasus is being used by the Indian government to spy on journalists, opposition leaders, among others.
But, if this is being done by the government of another country, then Prime Minister Narendra Modi has all the reasons to get it investigated. After all, which foreign government is spying on Indian ministers, judges, election commissioners, officials and journalists. It should definitely be investigated immediately.
Question- Have the phones of other professionals or institutions been monitored or pranked?
– This week we are going to publish daily new information with details. In many parts this database report will also be brought in front of everyone.