SC-appointed tech committee seeks details from people who suspect their devices have been hacked

Individuals who suspect their devices have been targeted by Pegasus spyware can write to the Supreme Court’s technical committee to investigate allegations of espionage using Pegasus spyware by noon January 7, 2022. .

The Committee today issued a public notice in this regard asking those individuals, who feel they have been the target of Pegasus spyware, to send an email to “[email protected]These people should also provide the reasons why they believe their devices have been infected with Pegasus spyware.

In the event that the Committee considers that such suspicions warrant further investigation, it may request authorization for the examination of the device. The collection point will be in New Delhi. The Committee will acknowledge receipt of the device for review and provide the individual with a digital image of the record over the phone.

It was on October 26 last year that the Supreme Court set up a committee of independent experts headed by former Supreme Court justice, Justice RV Raveendran, to investigate allegations of spying on journalists, activists, politicians, etc., using Pegasus spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO. .

The Court has also set up a technical committee to assist the investigative panel.

The members of the Technical Committee are:

  1. Dr Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, Professor (Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics) and Dean, National Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
  2. Dr Prabaharan P., Professor (School of Engineering), Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, Kerala.
  3. Dr. Ashwin Anil Gumaste, Institute Associate Professor (Computer Science and Engineering), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, Maharashtra.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana adopted the leadership in view of the Union Government’s refusal to make a clear statement as to whether it used the services of Pegasus spyware or not. The judiciary refused to accept the central government’s “national security” argument, saying the state “would not get a free pass” every time national security was raised and the tribunal would not remain a “silent spectator”. Refusing the Union government’s proposal to set up a committee to examine the matter, the court said that an independent committee is needed to ensure a fair and impartial investigation. Noting that unauthorized surveillance can have a “chilling effect” on press freedom, the Supreme Court ordered an independent investigation into the matter, after ruling that the applicants had established a prima facie case.

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