September 23, 2021

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Pegasus Spyware: What was America’s infamous Watergate scandal, to which ‘Pegasus Snoopgate’ is being compared

 

Highlights

  • Pegasus Snoopgate is being compared to America’s infamous Watergate scandal
  • West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee calls Pegasus Snoopgate more dangerous than Watergate
  • Watergate scandal linked to Democratic Party spying, President Richard Nixon had to resign

New Delhi
The opposition is attacking the government after it was revealed that several journalists, activists and some opposition leaders were allegedly spying through Pegasus spyware. In the Rajya Sabha, on Thursday, the TMC MP snatched the paper from the hand of the IT Minister, who was giving a statement on this issue, and tossed it into pieces in the air. Now TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has termed the Pegasus espionage case even more dangerous than America’s infamous ‘Watergate’, which took over the then President Richard Nixon’s chair. Let us understand what allegations have been made by Mamta and what was the ‘Watergate’ scandal.

Pegasus case mega-emergency: Mamata Banerjee
Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said that the episode of spying on Supreme Court judges, journalists, politicians and others using Pegasus spyware is more dangerous than the ‘Watergate’ episode that surfaced in the US during Richard Nixon’s reign. He said that civil society people, students and journalists should stand up against the misuse of spyware. Banerjee said the spyware installers also had detailed information about the election strategy meetings held between Prashant Kishor and him.

snatching the paper from the hands of the minister, who said what on the drama in the upper house of the parliament
Mamata termed the alleged espionage as a ‘great emergency’. He alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has politicized all impartial institutions. Mamata Banerjee said, ‘Pegasus is more dangerous than the Watergate scandal, it is a great emergency’. In fact, among those suspected of allegedly spying through Pegasus are Mamata’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee and Prashant Kishor, a professional election strategist who worked for the TMC in the recent West Bengal Assembly elections.

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What was the Watergate Scandal?
This espionage scandal that surfaced in America in the 70s had caused a political upheaval there. Even the then US President Richard Nixon had to resign. The case was related to spying for the Democratic Party, which was revealed in June 1972. Nixon spied on the opposition party to win the election, so that they could know what the election strategy and preparations of the Democratic Party were. In 1969, he became the President of America. The very ambitious Nixon, at the end of his 4-year term, did what is known to the world as the Watergate scandal. He used all his might to know the preparations of the Democratic Party to win the election. He assigned some people the task of spying on the office of the National Committee of the Democratic Party, that is, the Watergate Apartment-Hotel Complex. The Watergate Complex is a group of 6 buildings.

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Intelligence device was installed in the office of the Democratic Party
These people installed an intelligence device in the Watergate complex, through which the conversations there could be secretly listened to. Through this device, Richard Nixon’s special people used to know every intelligence of the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, the device suddenly stopped working a year before the election. After which a special team was formed to fix it.

 

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Nixon’s intelligence team caught
The team barged into the office of the National Committee of the Democratic Party to repair the device on the night of June 17, 1972. Right now they were fixing the wiring of the device that the police reached the spot and arrested all these people. The team of burglars included 5 people, who were arrested. After this this news appeared in all the newspapers of America under the name of Watergate Scandal.

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Nixon’s move exposed in police investigation
Richard Nixon faced a lot of criticism over this controversy. Initially, Richard Nixon’s name was not revealed, but as the police investigation increased, so did the connections of politicians of the Republican Party. In May 1973, the US Senate began hearings regarding the Watergate scandal. After which Nixon felt that he would also be trapped because of his party colleagues, he demanded the resignation of all the accused.

Won the election for the second time too, but impeached
Meanwhile, presidential elections were held in America, in which Richard Nixon won again, leaving behind the shadow of Watergate. On October 30, 1973, a motion of impeachment was brought against Nixon. After which Nixon was charged with interfering with the work of the court, abusing the powers of the President and failing to testify before the House of Representatives.

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Resigned in the middle of tenure under pressure
The impeachment trial of Nixon began on 6 February 1974. When Nixon saw that he had no choice and that he would be humiliated and removed from the presidency, he announced his resignation during a live televised program on August 8, 1973. This was the first time in US history that a current president had to resign during his tenure.

nixon

Richard Nixon finally had to resign from the US presidency after the Watergate scandal

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