SC issued formal notice to Centre over Pegasus

Supreme Court (SC) bench headed by Chief Justice of India N. V. Ramana issued a formal notice to government because of several petitions.

Key points

  • This notice was issued by SC after centre refused to file any additional affidavit on confirming or denying using Pegasus.
  • Government maintained that, disclosure on its using or not using Pegasus spyware will hamper national security.
  • Government urged that it will open up such information only before the proposed committee.
  • Government also noted that, all interceptions were being done in accordance with statutory procedure. It will not put out any details on software in public domain.

About Pegasus

It is a spyware developed by Israeli cyberarms firm NSO Group. This spyware can be installed on mobile phones and other devices running iOS and Android. According to 2021 Project Pegasus revelations, current Pegasus software can damage all recent iOS versions up to iOS 14.6. Earlier version of Pegasus was capable of tracking calls, reading text messages, collecting passwords, access microphone of target device etc by spear-phishing. Latest version of the spyware can now infect the device through “zero-click” attacks.  It does not require any interaction from owner of the phone. It has been named after Pegasus- winged horse of Greek mythology.

What is Pegasus controversy in India?

It was reported recently that, Pegasus Spyware has allegedly been used to secretly monitor and spy on the extensive host of public figures in India. Software has targeted Human Rights activists, journalists and lawyers across the world. They were targeted with phone malware that was sold to governments by an Israeli surveillance firm.

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