Mamta Banerjee says that she was offered Pegasus spyware but she refused
West Bengal chief minister Mamta Banerjee today said that she was offered Pegasus spyware but she turned it down as she found it unacceptable to use.
Banerjee stated that she did not wait two seconds to refuse Israeli spyware Pegasus a few years ago when the company had approached police stations of the state to sell their machines.
They demanded ₹ 25 crore for it, five years back. It came to me, I said no we don’t want to buy such machines,” Mamata Banerjee said
She further explained that if the thing was used for certain anti-national activities as well as security purposes then it would have been a different thing but since it was for political purposes then it is not acceptable.
It was a controversial situation when the Indian government came under scanner after allegations were put on them for targeting opposition leaders, journalists and others in India. The spyware was sold to the government to keep a check on many of their activities.
It was revealed by a website called The Wire in 2019 that close to 300 phones were traced for containing potentially threatening data.
They were part of the leaked NSO database of NSO. However, neither the government nor the NSO confirmed whether the phones were hacked or not. According to certain reports, the mobile phones of opposition leaders like Rahul Gandhi and some of the Supreme Court judges. Some of the journalists were also included in the list of potential targets.