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Judicial panel on Pegasus is unconstitutional: Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in SC hearing

The hearing focused on a state-appointed commission whose role is to investigate how the Pegasus surveillance was done, who was involved, and whether it stifles speech.  “It is unconstitutional,” said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta when the Supreme Court of India (SC) was hearing a petition to quash a two-member commission of inquiry (headed by retired justice Madan Lokur) set up by the West Bengal (WB) government to probe news reports of purported surveillance on Indians using Pegasus spyware, Bar & Bench tweeted. The tweet also said that the SC has issued notices to the WB and Union governments seeking their reply to the petition by the next hearing set for August 25. https://twitter.com/barandbench/status/1427872287437443075 The Pegasus Project, a consortium of 17 media organisations led by Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International, carried out an investigation that revealed a data leak of more than 50,000 phone numbers identified as either targets or potential targets of Pegasus spyware developed by the NSO Group. These numbers belonged to journalists, politicians, activists, bureaucrats, heads of state, among others. The group, however, responded by saying that the spyware is licensed only to vetted governments and its agencies for use against terrorists and criminals.  The Indian government has not ordered any investigation into the surveillance carried out by the Pegasus spyware despite the extent and implications of such snooping. It has not even confirmed or denied purchasing the spyware or using it. The probe ordered by the West Bengal government is the only investigation ordered by a government…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

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