Modi Govt bought Pegasus spyware worth 2 billion dollars from Israel in 2017: New York Times

A report has come out in the case of spying from Pegasus spyware, which took India’s politics by storm last year. America’s reputed newspaper New York Times has revealed in a report that the Indian government had bought this spy software in 2017 under the defense deal with Israel. This defense deal was worth two billion dollars.

After a year-long investigation, the newspaper has published this news. The newspaper has said that the US security agency Federal Bureau of Investigation had also bought and used this software.

Also read: Two leading media houses move SC seeking independent probe against Pegasus Snooping scandal

The report says that this spyware was used by many countries around the world and through it, journalists and dissidents were targeted. The newspaper has said that Israel gave this spyware to many other countries including Poland, Hungary, India.

According to the New York Times, this defense deal was done when Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Israel in July 2017 and Pegasus spyware and missile systems were its key points.

The newspaper says in its report that a few months later the then Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu came to India and in June 2019, India voted in favor of Israel in a vote held in the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Last year, when the Pegasus spyware scandal erupted, Congress and all opposition parties asked the government to reveal whether it had bought it or not, while the Israeli company NSO that developed the software, said that it sells its software only to government agencies.

After the uproar, the central government told Parliament that it has not bought Pegasus. The central government had termed this controversy as tarnishing the image of India. This matter also reached the Supreme Court and many petitions were filed in it.

The Supreme Court had constituted an independent inquiry committee on October 27 last year and included retired Justice RV Ravindran and two experts. While hearing the matter, CJI NV Ramana had said that the government cannot run away by talking about national security all the time. Thereafter, the court ordered a detailed inquiry into it.

After the New York Times report, the troubles of the Modi government have certainly increased. The opposition may once again take to the streets raising this issue. This report has come to the fore at a time when the elections in the five states are soon to be held. Opposition parties can strongly target the central government on this issue.

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