Pegasus Spyware: Know Indian Journalists Whose Numbers Are On Leaked Target List

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New Delhi: Three editors of The Indian Express (TIE), two current and one former are among the over 40 journalists whose phone numbers figure in a leaked list of potential targets of surveillance by an “unidentified agency,” using Pegasus spyware. The Wire reported.

Deputy Editor Muzamil Jaleel, who reports on Jammu and Kashmir and internal security, and Senior Assistant Editor Ritika Chopra, who covers the Election Commission and the Ministry of Education, appear in the leaked records.

Most of the names were targeted between 2018 and 2019 – in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha general elections, the report added.

“The potential targeting for surveillance of our journalists is a breach of the Constitutional guarantees of freedom and privacy,” Raj Kamal Jha, Chief Editor, TIE was quoted as saying in the newspaper. “These principles, affirmed time and again by the Supreme Court, are vital to the independence, dignity and functioning of the press. The Indian Express Group is committed to defending these principles.”

Globally, the list includes 180 journalists.

The other Indian journalists identified include Hindustan Times executive editor Shishir Gupta; Sandeep Unnithan of India Today; Vijaita Singh, The Hindu; Rohini Singh, a regular contributor to The Wire, J Gopikrishnan of The Pioneer and freelance journalist Swati Chaturvedi.

At The Wire, those targeted were founder-editors Siddharth Varadarajan and M.K. Venu, for whom. Forensic analysis showed evidence of their phones being infected by Pegasus, the report said.

The list also includes journalists from The Washington Post, CNN, Associated Press, The New York Times, the Financial Times, Al Jazeera, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg News.

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