Indian PM Modi accused of targeting opposition with Pegasus
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been accused of "treason" and compromising national security by the country’s largest opposition party after it alleged he used spyware against its former leader, Rahul Gandhi.
Governments around the world are facing allegations they used the Israeli-based NSO Group - maker of the Pegasus spyware - to snoop on the phones of activists, journalists, corporate executives, and politicians.
Local Indian media claimed Gandhi, who previously led the opposition Congress Party, was among several targets of the government.
It was revealed that Gandhi's phone numbers were allegedly hacked between 2018 and 2019 during India’s legislative elections.
The Congress Party has demanded a full investigation into the matter.
"If more than 45 nations are using Pegasus, why is only India being targeted?" asked government spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad during a press conference, in response to the claims.
It is believed that over one thousand India-based numbers in total were targeted by the spyware.
Neighbour Pakistan is also investigating whether its Prime Minister Imran Khan was the target of hacking attempts by Pegasus, according to Dawn newspaper.
Reports published Monday by Amnesty International suggested that several governments – including Bahrain, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and India - were all complicit.