NEW DELHI: The Indians in the snooping database include over 40 journalists, three major opposition figures, one constitutional authority, two serving ministers in the Narendra Modi government, current and former heads and officials of security organisations and scores of businesspersons, The Wire reported.
A leaked database of thousands of telephone numbers believed to have been listed by multiple government clients of Israeli surveillance technology firm NSO Group includes over 300 verified Indian mobile telephone numbers, including those used by ministers, opposition leaders, journalists, the legal community, businessmen, government officials, scientists, rights activists and others, according to an investigation by The Wire and 16 media partners.
At least two mobile phone accounts used by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were among the verified Indian numbers listed as potential targets by an official Indian client of the NSO Group, The Wire reported.
Moreover, three phone numbers belonging to the Supreme Court staffer, who had accused former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi of sexual harassment in April 2019, were selected as potential targets for surveillance by an official - but unidentified - Indian agency that is a customer of the Israel-based-NSO Group, the Wire reported.
The phone numbers of Ashwini Vaishnaw, newly-inducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as his Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, and Railways Minister, and Minister of State for Jal Shakti Prahlad Singh Patel, were among the verified Indian numbers listed as potential targets for surveillance during 2017-2019 by a client the NSO group, The Wire reported.
Also on the list is the personal secretary to BJP leader Vasundhara Raje, when she was Chief Minister in Rajasthan, and Sanjay Kachroo, who worked as an officer on special duty (OSD) for Smriti Irani in her first years as a Union minister in the Modi government from 2014-2015. (IANS)