Here is the full statement:
India is a strong democracy that is committed to guaranteeing the right to privacy for all its citizens as a fundamental right. In compliance with this commitment, it has also introduced the Personal data protection invoice, 2019 and the Information Technology Standards (Guidelines for intermediaries and Digital Media Code of Ethics), 2021, to protect people’s personal data and empower users of social media platforms.
The commitment to freedom of expression as a fundamental right is the cornerstone of the democratic system in India. We have always strived for an informed citizenry with an emphasis on a culture of open dialogue.
However. the questionnaire sent to the Government of India indicates that the story being developed is not only devoid of facts, but is also based on preconceived conclusions. It looks like you are trying to play the role of an investigator. prosecutor and jury.
Considering the fact that the responses to the posed queries have already been in the public domain for a long time, it also indicates poor research and due diligence on the part of the esteemed media organizations involved.
The response of the Government of India to a request for a right to information on the use of Pegasus has been reported prominently by the media and is in itself sufficient to counter any malicious claims about the alleged association between the Government of India. and Pegasus.
(The Minister of Electronics and Technology of India has also spoken in detail, including in the Parliament, that there have been no unauthorized interceptions by government agencies. It is important to note that government agencies have a well-established protocol for interception, which includes sanctioning and supervision of high-ranking officials in the central and state governments, for clear reasons declared only of national interest.
The allegations about government surveillance of specific people have no concrete basis or associated truth at all.
Similar claims have been made in the past regarding the use of Pegasus in WhatsApp by the Indian state. Those reports also had no factual basis and were categorically denied by all parties, including WhatsApp in the Supreme Court of India.
This news report. hence it also appears to be a similar fishing expedition. based on conjecture and hype to smear Indian democracy and its institutions.
(In India there is a well established procedure whereby lawful interception of electronic communications is carried out for the purpose of national security, particularly in the event of a public emergency or in the interest of public security, by of Center agencies and States. Requests for lawful interception of electronic communications are made in accordance with the relevant regulations under the provisions of section 5 (2) of the Indian Telegraph Act .1885 and section 69 of the Information Technology (Amendment) Act 2000.
Each case of interception, tracking and decryption is approved by the competent authority, that is, the Union Home Secretary. These powers are also available to the competent authority in state governments under the TI Rules (Procedure and Safeguards for the Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information), 2009.
There is an oversight mechanism established in the form of a review committee headed by the Union Cabinet Secretary. In the case of state governments, these cases are reviewed by a committee headed by the concerned Chief Secretary.
Therefore, the procedure ensures that any interception. the monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer resource is done according to due legal process.