Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi’s opponent in Pegasus’ sights

By Julien Bouissou

Posted today at 3:10 p.m.

Between the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and his opponent, Rahul Gandhi, leader of the Congress Party, hostilities start strong, this 1er May 2018. The legislative elections take place in a year, and Mr. Modi takes advantage of a regional electoral campaign, in the state of Karnataka (southwest), to shoot his first arrows. He calls Rahul Gandhi“Arrogant”, of “Dynast” or even “Danger to democracy”. A few days later, Mr. Gandhi was selected for possible surveillance by Pegasus, the spyware that the Israeli company NSO Group sells to states.

The data to which had access The world and sixteen other associated editorial staff within the consortium coordinated by Forbidden Stories, in partnership with Amnesty International’s Security Lab, also reveal that Rahul Gandhi is a potential target throughout the election campaign, and at least until the summer of 2019, a few weeks after his defeat and resignation as head of the party. Without being able to examine his phone for technical traces left by an intrusion, it is nevertheless not possible to say if he was indeed infected by this ultra-sophisticated spyware.

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“Targeted surveillance of the type you describe, whether it involves me, other opposition leaders or any law-abiding Indian citizen, is illegal and deplorable,” reacted Rahul Gandhi. If your information is correct, [cette surveillance] goes beyond the attack on privacy, by its magnitude and nature, it is an attack on the democratic foundations of our country; an investigation must be carried out and those responsible must be identified and known. “

Rahul Gandhi, at a farmers' rally in New Delhi in April 2015, when he was vice president of the Congress Party.

He’s not the only one to be a potential target. His close advisers are also from July 2019, like Sachin Rao, in charge of training party officials, and Alankar Sawai, close advisor to Mr. Gandhi. All are participating in the negotiations on the choice of candidates for the regional elections in the states of Haryana and Maharashtra in October 2019. In New Delhi rumors are also rumored about the succession of the young heir and the future organization of the party. Will Mr. Gandhi definitely let go of the reins of the old independence party, or even quit politics altogether, as he sometimes envisioned? No doubt he confided in his close friends, far from the backwater of politics and in whom he placed great confidence. At least five of them are the target of spyware as of July 2019.

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