“Allegations Regarding Govt Surveillance on Specific People Has No Concrete Basis or Truth Associated With It Whatsoever”, Says Union Govt

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It further said reports about alleged snooping on some people in the country is “fishing expedition, based on conjectures and exaggerations to malign the Indian democracy and its institutions.”

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On Sunday (July 19), the Union government denied any unauthorised snooping on any individual or a group. It added the government has a “well established protocol for interception, which includes sanction and supervision from highly ranked officials in central and state governments, for clear stated reasons only in national interest.”
On the reports that the government might have attempted snooping on some people, it said, “the story being crafted is one that is not only bereft of facts but also founded in pre-conceived conclusions.”
A media report has claimed that a snooping attempt was made on about 350 phone numbers. Through the investigation of Amnesty International and some media outlets, the report claims government agencies made the snooping attempt.
But, it does not explicitly say which government exactly did it.
Emphasising that there has been no unauthorised interception by the Government agencies, the Union government said: “In India there is a well-established procedure through which lawful interception of electronic communication is carried out for the purpose of national security, particularly on the occurrence of any public emergency or in the interest of public safety, by agencies at the Centre and States.”
For the authorized interception of any communication, a review committee is headed by Union Home Secretary at the centre and the chief secretary in the respective state.
In November 2019, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had informed the parliament that no unauthorised interception of any communication had taken place and categorically denied the use of Pegasus spyware.