Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday accused the government of “treason” for buying the Pegasus snooping software from Israel allegedly to spy on political opponents and critics. “Modi government bought Pegasus to spy on our primary democratic institutions, politicians and public. Government functionaries, opposition leaders, armed forces, judiciary, all were targeted by these phone tappings. This is treason,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet. “Modi government has committed treason,” he said. Rahul Gandhi quoted a New York Times report which said the Indian government bought Pegasus snooping software in 2017 from Israel as a part of a $2 billion weapon deal. The report said that “Pegasus and a missile system” were the “centrepieces” of a broader defence package Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also called it treason and said: “Modi government purchased the illegal and unconstitutional Pegasus spyware. Duped the Parliament, misled Supreme Court, used public treasury to spy on its own people, hijacked the democracy in the run-up to 2019 elections and committed treason.” He said the spyware Pegasus not only breaches the WhatsApp but also the phone, is able to turn over the cellphone camera and microphone to capture all activities in the vicinity of the phone, besides hacking all the security features of the phone, including listening to and sending passwords, contact lists, calendar events, text messages, and live voice calls. He said it also can plant fake material into the cell phone to falsely incriminate people.
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