New Delhi: Companies can sell spywares only to governments
Perturbed by many persons politely declining to be part of Pegasus probe panel: Chidambaram
New Delhi: Companies like NSO can't sell their products to non-governmental actors, newly-appointed Israeli Ambassador to India Naor Gilon said on Thursday, while terming as an "internal thing" for New Delhi the row over spyware Pegasus.
His comments at a press conference came following questions over allegations of unauthorised surveillance using Israeli NSO Group's spyware Pegasus and whether the Indian government contacted Israel over the issue. The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a probe into the matter. The Israeli envoy said what is happening in India over Pegasus is an internal matter of the country. "I will not go into more details...NSA is a private Israeli company. Every export of NSO or such companies need an export licence of the Israeli government. We grant this export licence only for exporting to governments," he said. "This is the only main requirement that they cannot...under the requirements, they cannot sell it to non-governmental actors. . An international investigative consortium had claimed that many Indian ministers, politicians, activists, businessmen and journalists were potentially targeted by the NSO Group's phone hacking software. The Supreme Court has set up a three-member independent expert panel to probe the alleged use of 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" and be the bugbear it shies away from.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday said he was perturbed by the statement in the Supreme Court order on the Pegasus snooping matter that many persons "politely declined" to be a member of the probe committee, and asserted that the "episode" illustrated how far the country has travelled from the exhortation of Mahatma Gandhi that Indians should not fear their rulers.
Can any conscientious citizen decline the request of the Supreme Court to serve in a matter of paramount national interest, the former Union minister asked.