Letters to the Editor — July 21, 2021

Spyware unleashed

As more disturbing details emerge regarding the alleged misuse of an Israel-made spyware which seems to have been used to keep track of ‘targets’ from different walks of life, the point that emerges is that it is an assault on one’s fundamental right to privacy. The Government has also not explicitly confirmed or even denied that it obtained the spy tool. The Government is unlikely to accede to a demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee. Even otherwise, nothing comes out of such committees. It is a fit case for the Supreme Court to take suo motu cognisance of and order a Court-monitored, time-bound investigation.

S.K. Choudhury,


The NSO Group says the spyware is ‘sold only to government agencies’. Going by conventional wisdom, no foreign intelligence or enforcement agency is likely to be very interested in snooping on Indian journalists, social activists and others. So, the needle of suspicion points to one or more of our own intelligence or enforcement agencies. Even if no government department is involved, it is the duty of the Government to inform us who is.

G.G. Menon,

Tripunithura, Kerala

Eavesdropping on friend and foe is as old as Chanakya’s Arthasastra. It has only gained sophistication over time, with technology as a boon. Even the Telegraph Act, 1885 was amended to include powers for the government to selectively intercept conversations. The problem now is that data may not be on India-based servers and hence the control on information is with alien agencies, not subject to our laws or supervision. It is in the interest of political parties across the spectrum to go beyond scoring brownie points and look at the larger picture that involves far serious and long-term national interests.

R. Narayanan,

Navi Mumbai

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 1:10:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-july-21-2021/article35434154.ece

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