Report on Chinese surveillance: Cong calls on govt to step up efforts on cyber security


The Congress on Monday urged the government to step up its efforts on cyber security for confronting China's intentions in the cyber space after a media report claimed that a Shenzen-based firm with links to the Chinese government is monitoring over 10,000 Indian individuals and organisations in its global database of "foreign targets".

AreportintheIndian ExpressclaimedthattherangeoftargetsinIndiaidentifiedandmonitoredinrealtimebyZhenhuaDataInformationTechnologyCoLimitedwas"sweeping"andincludedPresidentRamNathKovind,PrimeMinisterNarendraModi,Congress'interimpresidentSoniaGandhi,andtheirfamilies,aswellasseveralchiefministers,amongothers(external link).

Tagging the news report, Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said on Twitter that the news about Chinese digital surveillance of India's leaders and others is "worrying".

"We condemn this unequivocally. Have the Chinese used this 2 yr old Company to influence Govt policies in any manner? Will the Govt investigate & assure the Nation?" he said.

In another tweet, Surjewala asked that, if the report is correct, then did the Modi government know about this serious matter.

"Or they didn't know that we were being spied upon? Why is the government failing to protect our strategic interests over and over again?" he said.

A clear message needs to be sent out to China to prevent them from indulging in such activities, he said in the tweet in Hindi.

When asked about the report, Congress's deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi said, "We want the government of India to step up its efforts on cyber security because when we confront a country like China, we are not only confronting China on land, sea and air, we are also confronting Chinese intentions in the cyber space as well."

The government should not be caught sleeping and should ramp up its efforts, he told reporters.

"In the days to come, the government should be clear... that all the data that has been collected by Chinese agencies has not been used to manipulate policy, has not been used to gain more intelligence data on our military or sensitive information," he said.

That kind of assurance should come from this government, Gogoi asserted.

He also said that the Congress wanted the government to give an assurance on the first day of Parliament that when will the Indo-China border issue be taken up in Lok Sabha, when will it be taken up in Rajya Sabha and in what form will the prime minister speak on the issue.

"These are clarifications... the entire country is watching -- when will the Indo-China border conflict be taken up in Parliament, but no such indication was given in Parliament today," Gogoi said.