According to a report by Haaretz on Monday, India used malware from an Israeli company to lock down a mobile phone used by Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier, raising concerns about widespread privacy and abuse of rights.
According to the publication, several Pakistani officials, Kashmir freedom fighters, Indian parliament leader Rahul Gandhi, and even a judge of the Supreme Court of India were all targeted.
Sources told that India tried to use spyware to eavesdrop on the phone and information of federal cabinet members, prompting Pakistan to develop new software for its federal ministers.
After the development of the situation, a high-level meeting of civil and military leaders was convened, and the meeting will determine the future plan of action against Indian spy attempts.
At the same time, Gandhi said in response to the developments: “The targeted surveillance you describe, whether it is for me, other opposition leaders, or in fact any law-abiding citizen of India, is illegal and pathetic. .”
“If your information is correct, the scale and nature of surveillance you describe go beyond an attack on the privacy of individuals. It is an attack on the democratic foundations of our country. It must be thoroughly investigated, and those responsible be identified and punished.”
The Congress leader changes his cellphone after every few months in a bid to avoid being hacked.
Per the publication, New Delhi did not confirm nor deny whether it was a client of the Israeli firm NSO or not, however, its laws do not bind the government to disclose the use of said technology.
India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, responding to questions from The Washington Post, said the claim that specific people were targeted “had no concrete basis or truth associated with it whatsoever.”
“Any interception, monitoring, or decryption of any information through any computer resource is done as per the due process of law,” it added.
It is worth mentioning that, according to Reuters, India is Israel’s largest weapons consumer, purchasing weapons worth about US$1 billion each year.