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I turned down a 25-crore offer for Pegasus Spyware: Mamata Banerjee

I turned down a 25-crore offer for Pegasus Spyware: Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata: The Bengal Chief Minister said today that her government rejected a bid in the past to purchase Israeli spyware Pegasus. "Snooping on political rivals is not acceptable," she added.

"They came to our police department 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.

"If it was for anti-national activities and for security, it could have been a different thing. But it is used for political reasons, it's used against officials and judges, which is not acceptable," she stated

Pegasus spyware was said to have targeted opposition leaders and journalists in India.

The Wire reported that 300 Indian phones were among the targets in a leaked database of NSO's Pegasus spyware. There is no evidence, however, that all of the phones were compromised.

In addition to opposition leaders, there were judges, ministers, and journalists whose phones were potentially targeted.

Yesterday, Ms Banerjee claimed her phone had been tapped "My phone is being tapped. If we talk about anything, they will come to know. Three years back, I had also got an offer to buy Pegasus. But I did not buy it. I don't believe in interfering in privacy and curbing freedom of speech. But several BJP-ruled states had bought Pegasus," she added.

Anirban Ganguly, a BJP leader, claimed Mamata Banerjee had used Pegasus spyware since she took power in 2016.

A dozen petitions are currently being heard in the Supreme Court alleging that the spyware is being used to spy on journalists, opposition politicians, judges and other prominent people.

According to the government, Pegasus software was not purchased in order to snoop.

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TAGS:Mamata BanerjeePegasus Spyware
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