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NIA seeks permission to hand over phones of Bhima Koregaon accused to Pegasus committee

Meanwhile, parliamentary motions concerning Pegasus were not allowed to proceed in Rajya Sabha.

The National Investigating Agency has moved an application before the Special NIA court requesting permission for submitting the mobile phones of the seven accused in the Bhima Koregaon case to the Supreme Court-appointed technical committee which is probing the Pegasus spyware scandal, a report by Bar and Bench said. The seven accused are Rona Wilson, Vernon Gonsalves, P Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Anand Teltumbde, Hany Babu, and Shoma Sen. According to the report, Special Judge DE Kothalikar directed the agency to serve a copy of the application to the advocates of the accused and seek responses. This development comes after the accused, through their lawyers and family members, wrote to the SC committee that they wanted to submit their phones, said an Indian Express report. However, since the devices were in the custody of the central agency, they would not be able to do it themselves, the report added. In 2021, a consortium of 17 news organisations carried out an investigation into Pegasus spyware, developed by the Israeli firm NSO Group, which has serious consequences on issues pertaining to privacy and surveillance. The software purportedly infects electronic devices without detection and spies on its victims by transferring all the data on the device to a master server. It has been identified as a cyber weapon that is sold exclusively to governments by NSO. Rajya Sabha disallowed Pegasus amendments to President's address After a New York Times report claimed that the Indian government had bought Pegasus as part of a larger arms deal…

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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