New Delhi20 minutes ago
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Indian government is looking for new spyware like Pegasus. Pegasus has been blacklisted by the US government and it has been in spyware controversies in India as well, so the government has been talking about deals with Pegasus’ rival software companies. These surveillance companies are preparing to bid before the Government of India.
According to a report in the Financial Times, India’s defense and intelligence officials are looking for a lesser-known competitor to Pegasus maker NSO. It is believed that the government is ready to spend up to $120 million (Rs 986 crore) for the new spyware contract. About 12 companies can bid for this.
Greece’s spyware predator named in espionage scandal
Sources aware of the matter said that the Indian authorities are thinking of buying the spyware of the Greek company Intellexa. This company has prepared spyware named Predator with the help of former Israeli military officers.
The spyware has already figured in an espionage scandal that has implicated Greece’s spy chief and prime minister. According to Citizen Lab and Facebook, Predator is operational in several countries where human rights violations are taking place. These countries include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Madagascar and Oman.
India is more interested in spyware of Israeli companies
It has also come to light that the Indian authorities are showing interest in several spyware, most of which are made by Israeli companies. The most advanced spyware companies are present in Israel, who make spyware in collaboration with the military here.
Spyware options include Quadrim and Cognite. Regarding Quadrim, Israeli officials say that after the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the spyware was approved to be sold under Saudi influence.
Cognite was delisted by the wealth fund of Norway’s rulers after Meta’s investigation revealed widespread spyware abuse, and the US-based Verint company divested it of its stock.
Spyware firms of these countries can also bid
Apart from these two companies, spyware firms from Australia, Italy, France, Belarus and Cyprus can also bid. The US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have similar spyware developed not by private military contractors but by the country’s own intelligence agencies.