(IANS) The government has not made any unauthorized interception, Union IT and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in Rajya Sabha while in his reply to a calling attention motion on the snooping row involving Pegasus spyware.
On the question from Congress leader Digvijaya Singh whether the government or any of its agencies had entered into any deal with Israeli firm NSO group that developed the controversial spyware, the Minister said there was the proper operating procedure for that.
Not satisfied with the reply, the Congress leader insisted on specific information.
In response to this, Prasad said: “Sir, my reply is very simple. When I say there is a proper operating procedure under which the security agencies who are doing a tough job of keeping us secured, operate that operating procedure has to be followed. Now, they want a specific thing, I have replied very clearly and categorically.”
But Digvijaya Singh remained unconvinced from the response and insisted that the Minister gives a specific reply if the government or any of its agency had purchased Pegasus. Even after this, the Minister maintained that an operating procedure was in place to deal with this.
Earlier while calling the attention of the Minister, Digvijaya Singh alleged that Home Minister Amit Shah had a few months back met senior-most executives of Facebook which owns WhatsApp and discussed Pegasus at length.
“I demand that the government shares the minutes of the meeting in the House. The minutes prepared by both, Government and Facebook, be shared so that government does not mislead the House by editing it,” he demanded.