MELBOURNE, 29 JANUARY 2022: India voted against Palestine in the United Nations after Israel inked a deal to supply the controversial spyware Pegasus as part of a $ 2 billion deal along with missiles in 2017 when PM Narendra Modi visited Israel. Pegasus was offered to India, Hungary, and Mexico, the New York Times says in an investigation. The Pegasus could crack encrypted messages in iPhones and Android devices.
A report in The Tribune says, “The Indian part of the probe by a consortium of journalists showed that an overwhelming majority of mobile phones allegedly targeted by Pegasus were critics of the Modi government. But the government has said the report was a “sensational attempt” to “malign Indian democracy” while the Ambassador of Israel to India Naor Gilon has said all exports by NSO were supervised by Tel Aviv.
The Pegasus was also sold to the US, as Phantom that could target US phone numbers but it decided not to use it. Mexico used it to capture drug-lord El Chapo and against dissidents and journalists. UAE and Saudi Arabia also used Pegasus.
The New York Times Magazine article “The Battle for the World’s Most Powerful Cyberweapon” is written by Ronen Bergman and Mark Mazzetti on 28 January 2022.
Meanwhile, in India, the opposition Congress party plans to launch a massive onslaught on the ruling BJP in the coming budget session. The Indian government has not responded to the NYT report.