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Pegasus Snooping : SC-Appointed Technical Committee Seeks Details From Persons Suspecting Hacking Of Their Devices

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
2 Jan 2022 10:06 AM GMT
Pegasus Snooping : SC-Appointed Technical Committee Seeks Details From Persons Suspecting Hacking Of Their Devices
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Persons who suspect that their devices have been targeted by the Pegasus spyware can write to the Technical Committee constituted by the Supreme Court to investigate the allegations of snooping using the Pegasus spyware by the noon of January 7, 2022.The Committee issued a public notice in this regard today asking such persons, who feel that they are targets of Pegasus spyware, to send an...

Persons who suspect that their devices have been targeted by the Pegasus spyware can write to the Technical Committee constituted by the Supreme Court to investigate the allegations of snooping using the Pegasus spyware by the noon of January 7, 2022.

The Committee issued a public notice in this regard today asking such persons, who feel that they are targets of Pegasus spyware, to send an email to "[email protected]". Those persons should also furnish reasons as to why they believe their devices have been infected by Pegasus spyware.

In case the Committee feels that such suspicions require further investigation, it can request for allowing the examination of the device. The collection point will be at New Delhi.  The Committee will give an acknowledgement of having received the device for examination and will give the person a digital phone image of the records.


It was on October 26 last year that the Supreme Court constituted an independent expert committee headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice RV Raveendran to probe into the allegations of snooping of journalists, activists, politicians etc, using the Pegasus spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO.

The Court also constituted a Technical Committee to assist the probe panel.

The members of the Technical Committee are :

  1. Dr. Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, Professor (Cyber Security and Digital Forensics) and Dean, National Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  2. Dr. Prabaharan P., Professor (School of Engineering), Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, Kerala.
  3. Dr. Ashwin Anil Gumaste, Institute Chair Associate Professor (Computer Science and Engineering), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Maharashtra.

A bench led by the Chief Justice of India NV Ramana passed the direction in view of the refusal of the Union Government to make a clear statement as to whether it has availed the services of Pegasus spyware or not. The bench refused to accept the argument of "national security" raised by the Central Government, saying the state will "not get a free pass" every time national security is raised and the court will not remain a "mute spectator". Refusing the proposal of the Union Government that it will constitute a committee to examine the issue, the Court said that an independent committee is required to ensure a fair and impartial investigation. Observing that unauthorized surveillance can have a "chilling effect" on press freedom, the Supreme Court proceeded to order an independent probe into the issue, after holding that the petitioners have made out a prima facie case.




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