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West Bengal’s Commission of Inquiry on Pegasus seeks information from public, lists submission requirements

Besides inviting statements on Pegasus, the commission laid down certain specifics it requires along with the statements and defined the scope of the inquiry.  The Justice Lokur and Justice Bhattacharya Commission constituted by the West Bengal government last month has issued a public notice inviting statements containing information as a part of its inquiry into the reported use of the Pegasus spyware and related matters. The notice, issued yesterday, appeared in several mainstream English and regional language newspapers, invites statements to be submitted within 30 days (September 2, 2021). The notice asks for emails to be sent to lokur.jb-coi@bangla.gov.in and provides the following mailing address:  Justice Lokur and Justice Bhattacharya Commission of Inquiry, located at NKDA Building at 001, Major Arterial Road, New Town, Kolkata-700156 Why it matters? The Commission of Inquiry has to submit a report on its findings within six months or more to the West Bengal government and can summon various government officials as part of its inquiry. Last month, investigations carried out by a consortium of 17 news organisations worldwide revealed that 300 Indians have been listed as persons of interest for Pegasus surveillance by clients of the Israeli firm NSO Group. These potential targets include Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, former Karnataka chief ministers HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah, among other opposition leaders, lawyers, bureaucrats, private sector professionals, activists, journalists, and officials in the Election Commission and Supreme Court. According to experts, the purported use of Pegasus violates Indian laws on hacking and the fundamental right to privacy declared by…

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I cover health technology for MediaNama but, really, love all things tech policy. Always willing to chat with a reader! Reach me at anushka@medianama.com

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