The Congress on Tuesday gave an adjournment motion notice in Lok Sabha after The Indian Express reported that a Shenzhen-based technology company with links to the Chinese government is monitoring over 10,000 Indian individuals and organisations in its global database of “foreign targets”.
The notice was moved by Congress MPs Manickam Tagore and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on the second day of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, according to ANI. Tagore said it is a matter of “urgent importance” to discuss the surveillance.
According to the report, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi and Chief Justice of India Sharad A Bobde are among those being monitored by the Overseas Key Information DataBase developed by Zhenhua Data.
On Monday, the Congress urged the Narendra Modi government to step up its efforts on cyber security and take initiative for a global dialogue. Party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala questioned if the Bharatiya Janata Party knew about the surveillance. “We condemn this unequivocally,” he tweeted. “Have the Chinese used this two year old company to influence government policies in any manner?”
Congress’ deputy leader in Lok Sabha Gaurav Gogoi said the Centre should ramp up its efforts to stop the surveillance. “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 cyberspace as well,” 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.”
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor called it a “deep mining operation”, ANI reported. “Chinese authorities looking at the details of 10,000 Indians is no small thing,” he added.