Journalists N Ram & Sashi Kumar moves to SC seeking probe into Pegasus Snooping Scandal

Pegasus Spyware Law Insider

Greeva Garg –

Senior Journalists N Ram and Sashi Kumar have moved to the Supreme Court of India seeking a probe into Pegasus Snooping allegations.

The Journalists demanded an independent probe headed by any sitting or retired Judge of the Supreme Court, for looking into the allegations of illegal surveillance carried out on journalists, lawyers, the Government ministers, opposition politicians and civil society activists by military-grade Israeli spyware Pegasus.

The petition stated, “Such mass surveillance using a military-grade spyware abridges several fundamental rights and appears to represent an attempt to infiltrate, attack and destabilise independent institutions that act as critical pillars of our democratic set-up.”

The petitioner sought for the issue of directions to the Government of India to disclose of any Governmental agencies that have obtained license for Pegasus spyware or used it for surveillance through indirect ways.

The petitioner submitted that the Government has not taken any steps till now to ensure a credible and independent investigation into these extremely serious allegations.

The petition also stated, “Such targeted surveillance using military-grade spyware is an unacceptable violation of the right to privacy which has been held to be a fundamental right under Articles 14, 19 and 21 by the Supreme Court in KS Puttaswamy v. Union of India.”

The petitioners also contended that the legal regime for surveillance under Section 5(2) of the Telegraph Act was completely bypassed in the present case.

NSO Group Technologies, an Israeli Cyber-arms firm created the Pegasus spyware is an extremely advanced tool for intrusive surveillance including inter-tracking and recording calls, reading text and WhatsApp messages. It is capable of affecting any device with minimal notification to the owner.

NSO claims, “Pegasus is sold only to vetted governments and not to private entities, though the company does not reveal which governments it sells the controversial product to.”

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