Guwahati News Desk: Indian advocate, Manohar Lal Sharma, filed a petition before the Supreme Court on Thursday, seeking a court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT), into the reports of alleged snooping by government agencies using the Israeli spyware “Pegasus.”
In the petition Sharma stated, “The Pegasus scandal is a matter of grave concern and a serious attack upon Indian democracy, judiciary and country security. The widespread and unaccountable use of surveillance is morally disfiguring.”
He added, “Privacy is not about the wish to hide, as is often asserted. It is about having a space of one’s own where our thoughts and being are not the instrument of someone else’s purposes. It is an essential component of dignity.”
As claimed by the PIL, the Pegasus spyware, developed by Israeli software company NSO Group, has targeted globally more than 50,000 phone numbers, including 300 in India, for surveillance. Also, the 300 in the list consisted of verified phone numbers in India, including those of ministers, opposition leaders, a sitting judge, more than 40 journalists, and several activists and business persons.
Sharma further addressed, that the use of Pegasus was not just eavesdropping on conversations but can be used to access the entire digital imprint of one’s life as it renders helpless not just the owner of the phone hacked but everyone who is in contact with him.
He went on and requested the top court to declare buying of Pegasus software for snooping to be “illegal” and violative of a person’s right to life and privacy protected under Article 21.
Infact, the Israeli spyware is now being referred to as ‘a cyber weapon.’