Pegasus Row: More Than 500 People Write To CJI Seeking Supreme Court Intervention


New Delhi: More than 500 individuals and groups have written to Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, urging immediate Supreme Court intervention in the alleged Pegasus spyware case. They have also demanded a ban on the sale, transfer, and use of Pegasus spyware by Israeli company NSO in India.

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In the letter, the Supreme Court has been requested to direct the Center and the Israeli company NSO to provide timely answers to several questions related to the “government-sponsored cyberwar waged against the citizens of India”. They expressed shock over media reports that spyware was used to monitor female students, scholars, journalists, human rights advocates, lawyers, and victims of sexual violence.

The letter alleged snooping on the Supreme Court official
In addition, the signatories of the letter have urged the Supreme Court to adopt a gender-neutral data protection and privacy policy on sexual harassment. The letter also referred to the alleged snooping of a Supreme Court official who had levelled sexual harassment allegations against the then Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

The letter said, “For women, the Pegasus scandal is deeply concerning. Raising voice against the state (government) or men in high positions in the country means that their life will be ruined permanently by such surveillance”.

The letter said, “The Pegasus spyware investigation has uncovered how military-grade malware was installed on phones of those targeted converts the device for use by a consumer to an object that spies on the individual, steal data and transmits data to unknown persons/databases. It is defined by experts as cyber warfare and it is nothing less than an act of state-sponsored cyber-terrorism against people. Pegasus software is sold to governments only for national security and counter-terrorism purposes.”

An international media association has said in its report that more than 300 verified Indian mobile phone numbers have been placed on the list of possible targets for surveillance through Pegasus spyware.

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