‘Pegasus snoopgate, an attack on electoral process’ New Indian Express

23, Aug 2021

The Pegasus snoopgate is not just about violating an individual’s privacy but an attack on the integrity of the electoral process, said senior journalist Siddharth Varadarajan on Sunday.

'The Wire' editor Siddharth Varadarajan

‘The Wire’ editor Siddharth Varadarajan (Photo | Siddharth Varadarajan Facebook)

BENGALURU : The Pegasus snoopgate is not just about violating an individual’s privacy but an attack on the integrity of the electoral process, said senior journalist Siddharth Varadarajan on Sunday.

He was speaking as a panelist in an online discussion on ‘Pegasus Aftermath: Democracy under Attack; Surveillance and a subservient News Media’, organised by the Gauri Memorial Trust and Citizens for Justice and Peace.

“Targeting somebody like Prashant Kishor in the middle of the West Bengal election campaign where he is advising Mamata Banerjee and the TMC and the government or one of its associates authorising the tapping of his phone to my mind is an assault on the integrity of the electoral process. This is an attack not just on an individual’s privacy, but also an assault on the entire electorate of West Bengal,” he opined.

These are corrupt electoral practices to gain an undue advantage by installing spyware in an opponent’s phone, he said. “There is an attack on media freedom. A free press is one of the vital elements of democracy. Not just the media, there is pressure on universities, human rights defenders and social movements. There is an attempt to curtail the rights of their freedom.” he added.

The original piece may be read here

 

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