Snoopgate: Prasad evades direct reply on Pegasus’ buy

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 28, 2019 Published on November 28, 2019

IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad   -  PTI

The Centre evaded a direct reply on the Opposition’s question in Parliament that whether the government had bought the Pegasus spyware from Israeli technology company, NSO Group.

Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Information Technology and Law, who replied a calling attention moved by Congress MP Digvijaya Singh, however, assured the House that the Centre will look if there are any violations of the laid out procedures while using interceptors to counter terrorism and corruption.

Prasad said the Centre will probe WhatsApp and NSO to know the facts about the controversy.

He said the Centre is committed to protect privacy and freedom of expression. “India is almost in the forefront of the global discourse on privacy when nine judges of India’s Supreme Court held privacy to be a fundamental right. But, the Supreme Court has also stated that a terrorist has no right to privacy; and the Supreme Court in the same judgment has also stated that a corrupt person has no right to privacy. Therefore, that is our government’s commitment to the freedom of speech and expression on social media,” he said.

Digvijaya Singh said the issues is connected with the fundamental rights of people. He demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the issue. CPI(M) MP KK Ragesh demanded the Centre to immediately bring the Data Protect Bill. Prasad said the Centre will bring a comprehensive Bill on the matter.

Published on November 28, 2019
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