The Supreme Court appointed a technical committee to probe into the alleged use of Israeli spyware Pegasus for snooping. The Supreme Court has sought more time to submit its final report. The Supreme Court has sought comments on 11 questions from the public until March 31. The questions include whether the boundaries of state surveillance are well-defined or not, and what should be the recourse mechanism in the event of a complaint if someone is under targeted surveillance.
In October, the court set up the committee to look into allegations of snooping phones of activists, politicians, lawyers, and journalists. The probe was ordered in response to petitions filed by activists and persons whose phones were affected, which highlighted the breach of the right to privacy and was sold to the government and their agencies. The form also included questions on what substantive and procedural safeguards-involving administrative, judicial, or could the authorities suggest that individual rights are sufficiently balanced with the interests of national security and public order?
The panel headed by retired Supreme Court judge Justice RV Raveendran was formed to look into certain matters relating to the complaint. The remaining members of the court-appointed committee include Naveen Kumar Chaudhary (professor of Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics and Dean of Gandhinagar National University of Forensic Sciences in Gujarat); Prabaharan P, Professor (School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kerala) and Ashwin Anil Gumaste (institute chair and associate professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology IIT Bombay).
The Supreme Court earlier refused to allow the central government to form the probe committee and formed the committee itself for more influence and biased free reports. Petitions were filed by advocate M.L. Sharma, CPI-M MP John Brittas, journalist N. Ram, Jagdeep Chokkar (former IIM professor), Narendra Mishra, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta (journalist), Rupesh Kumar Singh, S.N.M. Abdi, and Editors Guild of India who demanded an independent probe.
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