Congress Raises Issue Of Alleged Chinese Surveillance In Parliament 
A stream of binary coding is seen displayed on a laptop computer screen. (Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

Congress Raises Issue Of Alleged Chinese Surveillance In Parliament 


Congress members on Wednesday raised in both Houses of Parliament the alleged tracking of over 10,000 prominent Indian individuals and organisations by a Chinese technology company and asked the government to build an "impregnable firewall" to deal with the "digital aggression" by the neighbouring country.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs to inform the minister concerned to "see what can be done and find out the veracity also", after Congress members, KC Venugopal and Rajiv Satav expressed concern over a media report in this regard, during the Zero Hour.

Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said China has been behind the spread of coronavirus, physical aggression in Ladakh and now "digital aggression".

"We are in clutches of China. Is the government not aware of it?...Our national security is being shattered," Chowdhury said while raising the issue during the question hour in the Lower House.

He requested IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to build an "impregnable firewall to resist the new menace".

His party colleague Suresh Kodikunnil too raised the issue.

Earlier in the day, Congress members Venugopal and Satav took up the issue during the Zero Hour in the Upper House.

"I would like to invite the attention of this House through you Chairman, a shocking news which is related to national security and privacy of Indian citizens," Venugopal said.

He said the Indian Express has reported that a Shenzen-based technology company with links to the Chinese government, and the Chinese Communist Party, is tracking over 10,000 Indian individuals and organisations in its global database of foreign targets.

"This includes...very shocking, the President of India also, you the Vice President of India, the Prime Minister of India and the opposition leaders, including Congress President, Chief Ministers, MPs, army chief, and industrialists," Venugopal said.

The Chinese company has also collected the database of bureaucrats in key positions, judges, scientists, academicians, journalists, actors, sportspersons, religious figures and activists, he added.

"This is a major area of concern. I would like to know from the government whether it has taken note of it. If so, what action has been taken," Venugopal asked.

The Congress leader also charged that the government was not answering and discussing reports regarding Chinese intrusion in border areas.

Echoing his views, Satav said this is a very serious issue.

Also read: India’s Defense Minister Says China Border Tensions Serious

"The government should clarify. The truth should come out. How can a Chinese company spy on prominent people," Satav said.

To this, Naidu asked the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs to take note of the matter.

"It has appeared prominently. So inform the minister concerned and see what can be done and find out the veracity also," the Rajya Sabha Chairman said.

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