• Thursday, Dec 02, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:15 am

India's top court orders probe into Pegasus snooping

  • Published at 05:51 pm October 27th, 2021
Pegasus
A stand of the Israeli firm known for its Pegasus spyware, at the annual European Police Congress in Berlin, Germany REUTERS

India was one of 45 countries where tens of thousands of numbers were targeted by the spyware made by Israeli firm NSO

India's Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered an independent investigation into the alleged government use of Pegasus spyware on journalists, opposition politicians and activists with the chief justice calling the implications "Orwellian."

India was one of 45 countries where tens of thousands of numbers were targeted by the spyware made by Israeli firm NSO, according to leaked documents released this year.

More than 1,000 of the numbers were Indian and the Supreme Court order followed petitions from individuals that the Chief Justice NV Ramana said "raise an Orwellian concern."

He added that the court had accepted the petitions because "there has been no specific denial" by the government.

The state cannot be given a "free pass every time the spectre of national security is raised," the court said as it named cyber and computer science experts to look into the allegations.

Phones infected with Pegasus software, which is normally only sold to governments or security agencies, give the user access to the target’s messages and photos, and track their location.

Critics say that in India it is part of a growing assault on dissent and civil liberties under the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Indian government would not deny or confirm the use of Pegasus because of national security. It offered to set up its own committee.

Soon after the Pegasus reports emerged in July, India's Parliament was disrupted by opposition calls for an investigation.

The Indian phone numbers put under surveillance reportedly included senior opposition leader Rahul Gandhi, journalists, activists, government critics and former judges.

A woman who had accused India's former chief justice of sexual harassment was also reported to be on the list.

The Washington Post said an analysis of more than 20 Indian phones on the list showed that 10 had been targeted by Pegasus, seven successfully.

53
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail