For those who will rather listen
Indian Government won’t stop troubling journalists and dissenters. This time they didn’t even leave their own party members.
Pegasus is a spying software (aka Spyware) exclusively made by Israeli company NSO for the purpose of empowering governments to fight terrorism and crime. They do not sell it to anyone other than governments.
However, it has been used to spy on journalists, human rights activists, politicians, gardeners, and cooks.
Some key names are Rahul Gandhi, Rohini Singh, IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. Abhishek Banerjee & Prashant Kishore key TMC members, Vasundhara Raje’s personal secretary, former VHP head Pravin Togadia, CBI officers, and election commission officers. rape case victims who accused former CIA Ranjan Gogoi and 50.000 other phone numbers are potential targets.
A potential target is someone whose number appears on the list, but whose device has not been forensically analyzed by Amnesty. A person is classified as a target if their phones show evidence of an attempted or successful hack.
Forensic tests of phones confirm many names among the above got spied for sure. They have been spied from 2017 to 2019, the time before and around the elections. To know why might only these specific people were targeted. Please refer here.
As of 1st August, it has been reported that 155 people are potential targets and 10 are targets. Source.
So what exactly Pegasus Spyware can do? And how dangerous it is?
It can enters one’s phone via just a missed call (irrespective of whether you pick up or not) or a WhatsApp chat. Only your phone no. required and you can be targeted.
It can access one’s location, photos, chats, it can even switch your microphone and camera on and might as well record you and you’ll have no idea about it. This is not mere surveillance, it is a major breach of the Right to privacy.
Imagine your every move – whom you talk to, what do you talk to them, your personal photographs, and who knows your bank account details – anything you have in your phone is accessible to people who want to use the information against you. It’s plain illegal and scary.
It is trending in the news because governments are not allowed to do that. This is a violation of our fundamental human rights. It should trend more vigorously.
What is Pegasus Project?
The Pegasus Project is a collaborative investigation that involves more than 80 journalists from 17 news organisations in 10 countries coordinated by Forbidden Stories with the technical support of Amnesty International’s Security Lab. The Wire has been probing for India under the same.
So what is govenment’s response to such vile allegations?
Government has neither denied nor accepted it openly. It kept saying that when so many countries are invovled why India is only being discussed in the media.
What do you expect, government? Do you wish us to discuss russia in india? Bullshiter.
No illegal use? So govt. does owe an explantion to use the legal use. It’s about privacy of people.
At this point, can you guess what did govt. response was when asked in holy parliament?
The government has denied “unauthorised interception” and described the Pegasus Project as a “fishing expedition, based on conjectures and exaggerations to malign the Indian democracy and its institutions”. Source.
So a big question is, why it should bother common people likes of us?
Imagine you are making out with your gf/bf/spouse – you are a writer by profession – and you wrote something that was powerful and was a reflection of a truth. However, your work by nature dissents government.
So some corrupt government people get angry with you. They threatnes you to leak your sex tape in public or release on a pornographic site. Now you’re a prisoner for rest of your life. You either follow these goons’ orders or you’ll be ruined.
The worst part? You can’t get help from Police or any institution because chances are they will work under influence of their offcials, who are directly controlled by government.
In a democracy, violations of one person’s right is a direct threat to EVERYONE’S right.
I hope that angers you and now you understand the gravity of the situation. If my wrting has offended you, I’m not sorry.
SHARE it with your friends and dear ones, if you care about YOUR privacy.
See ya in our next battle! 🙂