Rajya Sabha to discuss 'Pegasus' on Thursday

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has given permission to raise the "reported use of spyware Pegasus to compromise phone data of some persons through WhatsApp" through a Calling Attention Motion. Photo/Reuters

Rajya Sabha will discuss the controversy arising out of the use of Israeli spyware Pegasus to snoop on WhatsApp messages on Thursday.

Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has given permission to raise the "reported use of spyware Pegasus to compromise phone data of some persons through WhatsApp" through a Calling Attention Motion. 

The discussion will take place on Thursday afternoon.

WhatsApp accounts of at least 121 activists and journalists were targeted by Pegasus software with the Congress claiming that its General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi was also a victim. The company's claim that it sells the software only to government agencies has raised questions and accusations that the government was illegally spying on people.

The issue also witnessed high drama in Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology meeting earlier when BJP MPs wanted to stall its discussion. However, casting vote by panel Chairman and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor led to the issue being taken by the committee.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Rajya Sabha will have a short duration discussion on the state of the economy in the country. Notices were given by Anand Sharma and Jairam Ramesh (Congress), Derek O'Brien (Trinamool Congress), Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), K K Ragesh (CPIM), Binoy Vishwam (CPI) and Manoj K Jha (RJD), among others.

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