Pegasus Spyware: Only government can intercept technology for illegal activities, not for espionage

Summary

The use of Pegasus spyware has not yet been approved or rejected by the Central Government. In view of the attitude of the Central Government, the Supreme Court also ordered an inquiry. In addition, the Supreme Court has expressed concern over the possibility of ordinary citizens falling victim to it. At the same time, Congress leader P. Chidambaram said that the country had deviated from the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi that rulers should not be afraid.

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Many questions remain unanswered even after the Supreme Court set up an inquiry committee to investigate allegations of a Pegasus espionage scandal. For example, can the government spy on citizens? Are there laws for this? What is this barrier that has traditionally been accepted in advance by the government? Overall, the basic question is whether citizens’ messages and audio-video calls are possible on all Internet-based apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Telegram app, Instagram, Gmail, Signal, Viber, etc., under Indian government law. Can you see, intercepted or can you tape?

According to the answer given by the Central Government in Parliament in November 2019, the government can legally block the media. Section 69 of the IT Act, 2000 empowers the Central or State Government to monitor, intercept and decrypt the messages produced, stored, transmitted and distributed on any computer or mobile device. It is done for the sovereignty, integrity, security of the country, friendly relations with other countries and for public order and to prevent detectable crimes.

In other words, the government has legal authority to intercept the electronic devices of individuals or groups suspected of engaging in illegal or anti-national activities. 10 agencies are authorized for this. However, the government has not yet clarified whether Pegasus was purchased and used. It only cites policies in the country that can tap phones and monitor Internet-based services.

Cannot intercept without permission

  • Agencies are required to obtain permission in accordance with the procedure prescribed for interception under IT Act.
  • This permission was taken on a case-by-case basis, with extensive oversight not previously allowed.
  • The approval is given by a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary at the central level and the Chief Secretary at the state level.
  • Permission is two months, the duration can be extended if necessary, but not more than six months.
  • This power of law is only interfering. If anyone is suspected of committing a crime or illegal activity, with prior permission, government investigative agencies may block the transmission of his information.
  • The government does not complete spyware by placing spyware on someone’s phone. There have been allegations that Pegasus spy has infiltrated spyware into people’s phones and other devices.
So who hacked the phone

If the federal government says no citizen has put Pegasus spyware on their phone, then the new concern is who did it.

Pegasus cannot be sold to NGO: Israel
NGO, the Israeli company that makes Pegasus spyware, will not sell it to a non – governmental agency, said Naur Gilon, Israel’s ambassador to India. Noor said the NSO was a private Israeli company. He and all companies like him must be licensed to export the product. Israel grants this license only to sell products to governments. It is mandatory. What is happening in India is an internal matter of India.

Congress leader P Chidambaram on Thursday said he was offended by the statement made in the Supreme Court orders on the espionage case. Chidambaram questioned how any conscientious objector could reject the Supreme Court’s request in the highest national interests. Citing Mahatma Gandhi’s statement that ‘Indians should not be afraid of their rulers’, he said that the country had come a long way from this lesson.

In fact, the Supreme Court stated that some technicians were consulted to investigate the issue, but some politely declined to participate. The bench, headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana, on Wednesday ruled that unbridled espionage was not allowed in a democracy ruled by law.

Waiting for the Supreme Court message: RV Ravindran
Former Supreme Court Justice RV Ravindran has said that he has not yet received orders on the matter after taking charge of overseeing the Pegasus spy case. When asked about the scope of investigation in this case, Justice Ravindran said, “I do not know, because I am still waiting for the Supreme Court message.” How do I know until I get some information from the Supreme Court. In fact, the Supreme Court on Wednesday set up a three-member committee to investigate Pegasus espionage.

Expansion

Many questions remain unanswered even after the Supreme Court set up an inquiry committee to investigate allegations of a Pegasus espionage scandal. For example, can the government spy on citizens? Are there laws for this? What is this barrier that the government has traditionally accepted in advance? Overall, the basic question is whether citizens’ messages and audio-video calls are possible on all Internet-based apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Telegram app, Instagram, Gmail, Signal, Viber, etc., under Indian government law. Can you see, intercepted or can you tape?

According to the answer given by the Central Government in Parliament in November 2019, the government can legally block the media. Section 69 of the IT Act, 2000 empowers the Central or State Government to monitor, intercept and decrypt the messages produced, stored, transmitted and distributed on any computer or mobile device. It is done for the sovereignty, integrity, security of the country, friendly relations with other countries and for public order and to prevent detectable crimes.

In other words, the government is legally permitted to intercept the electronic devices of individuals or groups suspected of engaging in illegal or anti-national activities. 10 agencies are authorized for this. However, the government has not yet clarified whether Pegasus was purchased and used. It only cites policies in the country that can tap phones and monitor Internet-based services.

Cannot intercept without permission

  • Agencies are required to obtain permission in accordance with the procedure prescribed for interception under IT Act.
  • This permission was taken on a case-by-case basis, with extensive oversight not previously allowed.
  • The approval is given by a committee headed by the Cabinet Secretary at the central level and the Chief Secretary at the state level.
  • Permission is two months, the duration can be extended if necessary, but not more than six months.

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