Top
Millennium Post

Under the scanner

Under the scanner

It was not unpredictable that allegations will be denied by the government regarding the Israeli Spyware on WhatsApp used to snoop on Indian journalists and activists. It came as an admission by Facebook-owned WhatsApp that Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally spied upon by unnamed entities using an Israeli sypware called Pegasus. Matters have proceeded inevitably on the surface with WhatsApp suing NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance firm, which is reportedly behind the technology that helped unnamed entities' spies hack into phones of roughly 1,400 users that span across four continents and included diplomats, political dissidents, journalists and activists. As far as matters pertaining to India goes, there are at least 10 activists who have come forward to confirm that they were targeted by the snooping software on the messaging platform and that includes two lawyers for human rights activists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case. Compromising phones of rights activists with the spyware brings to the surface the bigger question of lack of transparency on the part of the government owing to which methods like spying apparently had to be resorted to. On the part of the NSO Group, it has maintained that the Pegasus software is only sold to government agencies around the world. With the omnipresence of social media and the unresolved matter of privacy of citizens in the wake of Aadhaar and its necessary link with important personal data, the suspicion is only enforced that social media platform may be largely recreational and partly educational, but given how far and wide its accessibility goes, it remains a deterrent to be free in a virtual world. On the contrary, this is also a breach of the internet as a basic right. And any act of spying in this manner amounts to violation of this human right.

Next Story
Share it