Pegasus is a spyware created by the NSO group, which is an Israeli based firm. It was initially created to spy the phones of palestanian terrorists. This software helps the user to hack into any phone, record and view the audio and video through the camera and microphone of the gadget.
In 2019 a case was filed in the U.S court, when Whatsapp sued the Israeli spyware firm, the issue came to the light. In 2021, Amnesty international along with 13 global outlet released a report on how the spyware used to spy hundreds of individuals, including Indians. In the report there were 300 specific Indian targets, high profile politicians, businessman, journalists etc. the spyware has confirmed that it only sells the software to the nations, however no nation has come forward to accept the claim.
The Indian Government and Pegasus
We know Pegasus is a military graded spyware used to hack into Palestine terrorist phones, but are we completely sure if our government is not using one for its benefit. There have been no talks between the opposition parties and the government on the issue of Pegasus, the Modi government directly or indirectly is trying to evade from this issue. In addition to the bills getting passed without a debate in the parliament, there have been no conversation of Pegasus in the parliament whatsoever. This urges the Indian citizens to make grave assumptions in Indian democracy, when such a rogue technology is trying to infiltrate the the democratic system of India.
When asked about similar questions over the Pegasus issue, the government has disallowed it says the matter is sub-judice. CPI MP Binoy Visvam tried to sought details regarding any MoU with the NSA group, however the Modi government has turned him down informally calling it a sub-judice matter. The wire has revealed that phones of politicians, supreme court officials, journalists and similar other verified phone numbers were infected by it.
It is an achievement of such, as 15 opposition parties have now come together to debate and inquire on this issue. Along with farmer agitation, covid-19, inflation the opposition is not getting any answers regarding this issue too. There has been no debates over any of those issues, and government is just trying to move on, without analyzing the bills over a debate. Even at the end of the monsoon session all four issue (covid, inflation, farmers agitation, Pegasus) were decided to be debated, Moreover the opposition as well as the Indian citizen wants to get the answers to the queries with Prime Minister or Home minister sitting in the Parliament. But to dilute the issue they have asked the information and technology ministry to reply.
The case was finally brought in the Apex court, where three judge bench headed by CJI NV Ramanna, Vineet Saran and Surya Kant accompanied to hear the batch of petitions seeking a probe into the allegations of surviellance through the use of Pegasus spyware. The court of law has declared “serious” allegations on state, and has requested for a advocate of the state. The hearings were decided to proceed on Monday (16th August), ordering for all the queries to be in affidavit and has advocated to not participate in a parallel debate over social media, as it’ll only create confusion.
To sum up all the stated facts, we can understand that protection of any citizens privacy is essential, and the government has a duty to provide true information of the citizens queries.
It is a breach to democracy, to control its people and invade their privacy, we have a right to know the truth and we will as CJI Ramanna said in the hearing .
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