New Delhi: Israeli technology company NSO on Wednesday clarified that the leaked list of mobile phone numbers was “not the list” of potential targets for spying through their spyware Pegasus and any such claim was “erroneous and false”.
“The list is not a list of targets or potential targets of Pegasus. The numbers in the list are not related to NSO group. Any claim that a name in the list is necessarily related to a Pegasus target or Pegasus potential target is erroneous and false,” the company said in a statement.
The clarification from the company came against the backdrop of series of media reports claiming that the Pegasus software, meant to spy on terrorists or criminals, was misused against journalists, politicians, activists, lawyers, and others from across the world, including India.
The company said that they do not operate the system, nor do they have access to the data of their customers. The NSO announced that it will no longer be responding to media inquiries on this matter and “will not play along with the vicious and slanderous campaign.”
However, the company assured that it will thoroughly investigate any credible proof of misuse of its technologies and will shut down the system where necessary.
In India, as per media reports, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, his knowns, and poll strategist Prashant Kishor, are among the Indians whose numbers have been found in the list.
The revelation has led to a massive protest by Opposition, including Congress, in Parliament as well as on the streets.
The Congress is demanding a judicial probe into the scoop as well as stepping down of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is the in-charge of internal security.
However, the Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw has denied the allegations of any role of the government in spying and called the reports “an attempt to malign Indian democracy”.