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Pegasus petition in SC by journalists Rupesh Singh and Ipsa Shatakshi calls for judicial oversight mechanism

Supreme Court of India
Credit: Aditi Agrawal

This is one of many petitions related to Pegasus that has been filed before the Supreme Court of India which has scheduled the next hearing on August 16.  A writ petition by journalists Rupesh Kumar Singh and Ipsa Shatakshi called into question the constitutionality of surveillance aided by the Pegasus spyware. The petition, a copy of which MediaNama has seen, filed in the Supreme Court of India on July 31 prays for a judicial oversight mechanism to deal with complaints of privacy breaches arising in the future.  Background: The Pegasus Project is a collaborative effort by 17 news organisations led by Forbidden Stories and Amnesty International. Their investigation accessed a data leak that revealed more than 50,000 phone numbers as either targets or potential targets of snooping by several governments. NSO Group, the developer behind Pegasus, clarified that the spyware is sold to governments and its agencies for use against terrorists and criminals. However, out of 50,000 numbers, nearly 300 belonged to Indian citizens engaged in journalism, activism, politics, business, etc. Phone numbers of both Singh and Shatakshi feature on the leaked list as potential targets of snooping, and they are represented in the case by advocate Prateek Chaddha.  Why it matters? The revelations brought to light by the Pegasus Project have serious ramifications on the sanctity of fundamental rights such as freedoms of speech and expression.  The petition's prayers The petitioners demanded that the Supreme Court of India issue the following directions for the Union government:  Declare installation and/or use of malware or spyware…

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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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