Pegasus Project: 40 Journalists, 2 Ministers, 1 Judge, 3 Oppn Leaders Were Alleged Targets


New Delhi: As per reports over 40 journalists, 3 prominent opposition leaders, 1 constitutional authority, 2 serving ministers in the Narendra Modi government, current and former heads and officials of security organizations, and a large number of businessmen were part of the list of potential or past victims of the Pegasus project.

The Guardian and The Washington Post have alleged, that many governments of the world including the Indian government, are spying on popular personalities through a special software named Pegasus. These personalities include human rights activists, journalists, and reputed lawyers. The Indian government has denied these allegations.

These journalists appeared in the report:

  • Rohini Singh – Journalist, The Wire
  • Freelance journalist Swati Chaturvedi 
  • Sushant Singh, deputy editor at The Indian Express
  • SNM Abdi, former Outlook journalist
  • Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, former editor of EPW
  • MK Venu, Founder of The Wire
  • Siddharth Varadarajan, Founder of The Wire
  • Senior editor of an Indian newspaper 
  • Rupesh Kumar Singh, a freelance journalist from Ramgarh, Jharkhand 
  • Siddhant Sibal, Journalist at the Ministry of External Affairs of Vion
  • Santosh Bhartiya, Senior Journalist, Former MP
  • Iftikhar Geelani, former DNA reporter 
  • Manoranjana Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of Frontier TV
  • Sanjay Shyam, Journalist from Bihar
  • Jaspal Singh Heron, Editor-in-Chief of Dainik Rozana Pehredar 
  • Syed Abdul Rehman Geelani, former Professor at Delhi University 
  • Sandeep Unnithan, India Today
  • Vijeta Singh, The Hindu’s Home Ministry journalist
  • Manoj Gupta, Investigative Editor, TV18 
  • 4 current and 1 former employee of Hindustan Times Group (Executive Editor Shishir Gupta, Editorial Page Editor, and former Bureau Chief Prashant Jha, Defense Correspondent Rahul Singh, Former Political Correspondent Aurangzeb Naqshbandi covering Congress).
  • A reporter for the Hindustan Times group newspaper Mint,
  • Prem Shankar Jha, a senior journalist who writes on security matters 
  • Saikat Dutta, former national security reporter
  • Smita Sharma, former TV18 anchor and diplomatic reporter for The Tribune 

Apart from these, other names have not been disclosed in the report for various reasons. It has been said that more names will be revealed soon. The report claimed that several journalists were being spoken to about their involvement in forensic analysis. But they refused to participate in it citing various reasons.

What allegations has the Guardian made?

According to the Guardian newspaper, this spying software has been sold by the Israeli surveillance company NSO to the governments of various countries. According to the revelations of the Guardian newspaper, more than 50,000 people are being spied on through this software. 

The consortium’s analysis of the leaked data includes information of at least 10 governments believed to be NSO customers, who were entering numbers into a system. Data from countries like Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Morocco, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, India, and the United Arab Emirates has been leaked. The Guardian claims that this has been revealed after the investigation of 16 media organizations.


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