SC Appointed Committee Finds No Evidence of Spying Using Pegasus App

No evidence that the Pegasus spyware app was used to spy on the phones examined has been uncovered by a Supreme Court-appointed expert panel. A report thereon shall be submitted to the higher court and the technical analysis leading to the said conclusion shall constitute an essential part of the report.

According to a report by the Hindustan Times, a person who has important details about the case provided this information without disclosing his name. He said more than 100 gadgets were reviewed by the committee, headed by retired Supreme Court Justice RV Raveendran; and details of the findings are contained in a 600-page filing that was submitted to the court about a week ago.

According to this person, the first issue of the committee’s terms of reference was to determine whether the Pegasus spyware suite was used on the phones or other devices of Indian citizens to access stored data, eavesdrop on conversations, intercept information and/or for any other purpose not expressly stated herein. The submission in response to this question states that no evidence has been found so far to prove that the Pegasus app was installed on these devices to spy on the targets.

The panel was tasked with identifying the individuals targeted by the spyware, the actions taken by the Indian government in response to the alleged illegal intrusion, and whether Pegasus was originally purchased by the Indian government with the intent to spy. Indian residents. If it is the latter, the panel was also required to ascertain under what rule or policy it was purchased.

The person also said: “The rest of the questions are no longer relevant once the panel has concluded that there was no evidence that the spyware was used to spy on the devices. The report said the findings were based on sophisticated tests conducted by the panel on devices that people voluntarily handed over.

He added that the tools used by the committee included a tool made by Amnesty International, which was among the non-profit organizations that examined Pegasus infections, and the program was also used in other countries for medical analysis. -legal. The government also used its own tools and devices and more than 600 pages document refers to technical analysis and methodology. After a thorough scan using these tools, the controversial app was not found in the submitted phones.

RV Raveendran, who headed the panel of experts, said: “This is an open question. This is not an independent investigation and the matter is pending. The court will disclose the details in due time.

The case has not yet been scheduled for hearing, but the court docket predicts it will be heard on August 12 before a bench that includes India’s Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli. .

It should be noted that the Pegasus spying issue began on July 18, 2021, when a group of media networks and investigative journalists claimed that among the 50,000 phone numbers chosen to be infected with the software Malicious Pegasus featured those of Indian ministers, legislators, activists, entrepreneurs, and journalists.

The malware is considered a combat weapon as it uses advanced tactics to infiltrate a person’s smartphone and overhear calls, activate the mic or camera, and gain access to all device information including messages. , images and videos.

Several of the 50,000 phone numbers from other countries included in the media reports were later proven to be affected after separate investigations by the respective nations and other organizations.

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