The Congress on Monday said the central government is looking to buy Pegasus-type spying software ‘Cognite’ at a cost of ₹986 crore, and alleged that it is being used to spy on politicians, media, activists and NGOs.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said in a press conference on Monday, “Since Pegasus has become infamous, the government with ‘minimum governance-maximum surveillance’ is looking for a new spyware in the market.”
Khera alleged, “I understand that the ruling party hates the opposition but they used spying software on their ministers.”
He said, “The ‘2 spies’ of this country do not trust anyone, not even the law and the media. That’s why they are spending crores of taxpayers’ money to buy spy software and Israeli technology. They are doing this because the emperor is afraid that one of our truths may collapse his hollow palace of lies.
The Congress leader alleged that the government uses technology to spy on the opposition, journalists, judiciary, citizens and even its ministers.
He further asked, ‘Has some communication equipment been purchased from Cognyte? If yes, which ministry bought it, how much did it cost? Have some communication tools been purchased from Cognyte? If yes, which ministry bought it, how much did it cost? Has any ministry issued a request for proposal? If yes, which ministry is it?
Putting the question before the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP)-led central government, Khera said, ‘We want to ask the government which ministry has been given the task of purchasing this Cognite software and how much was spent on it. We also request them to tell us on what basis this software is being finalized about which very little is known.
Cognyte’s webpage states that the Israeli software is “the global leader in investigative analytics software that empowers governments and enterprises with actionable intelligence for a safer world”.