Pegasus: the very issue is national securitytext_fields
Did Israel buy India as it did many other countries? The New York Times reported after a year-long investigation into the supposed secret deal between India and Israel, that Pegasus' spyware may have been used against Indians and that our national interests that came at a price. The latest revelation is that the main components of the $ 2 billion (Rs. 15,000 crore) India-Israel defence deal in 2017 were Pegasus spy software and missile systems. Whta the Modi government said in Parliament was that it has not made any deal with the NSO Group, the makers of Pegasus. If the report in the New York Times is correct, it means that the government not only carried out an illegal transaction but also lied to the country and the courts about it. According to NYT, Indian Prime Minister Modi and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu were directly involved in the deal. The sale occurred shortly after Modi's visit to Israel. It has already been revealed that the phones of many people in India, including opposition leaders, journalists and Supreme Court judges were hacked and personal secrets leaked using the Pegasus software. However, the government's role was denied by those concerned. The issue was pushed into public debate by a complaint filed by the victim journalists in the Supreme Court. During the court hearing, there were no clear answers to what the court asked the government. The government has vaguely denied the allegations, but said it was not prepared to submit an affidavit. The silence of both governments on the Indo-Israeli deal means that there is no clear denial of the deal from either side.
At one point, the Supreme Court criticized the government's position, asking whether it could deflect all questions and criticisms with the single phrase of 'national security interest': The judges had to say, that the State does not "get a free pass every time the spectre of 'national security' is raised" and there cannot be a ban on constitutional scrutiny by the court. The Supreme Court has directly appointed a three-member committee to look into the matter. Now, if the additional information in the New York Times is correct, the espionage deal would have to be seen as a sabotage, not as one to protect national security. The NSO has previously made it clear that Pegasus will sell software only to governments. The New York Times describes in detail that the government of Israel, which enacted a law to ensure this, was using it to further the interests of the Zionist state. It affects the security of different countries in two ways. One is that the spyware enters personal devices uninvited and leaks personal data and violates the personal privacy of the smartphone user. Of course, since it is Israeli technology that is used, there is no guarantee that the data will not be available to that country. If that were the case, it would mean leaving their own people to the espionage of foreign countries. It is for experts to clarify this. At the same time, another security threat has already emerged. It means that the foreign policy, international relations and ideological position of our country have been compromised for the sake of a single transaction.
The NYT reports that Pegasus has mostly been used as a tool by anti-democratic regimes in various countries to oppress their peoples. Israel has used it to turn Latin American and Arab countries away from their pro-Palestinian stance. And that is how at the United Nations, Mexico and Panama gave up Palestine in favour of Israel. It was only after the Pegasus deal that India backed Israel's denial of observer status to the Palestinian human rights group. The Modi government is not ready to discuss the deal in Parliament. It refuses to give an affidavit in court. From this it can be inferred that the Pegasus deal was done endangering its own people and democratic institutions. The intervention of the Supreme Court in this matter has come as a relief to those who respect national security and democracy. With the revelation made by the New York Times, the relevance and importance of the panel of experts appointed by the court has increased. The Indian people hope that the judiciary will be able to ensure the well-being and security of the people and the country and that democracy's core element, i.e. transparency will be restored.