The Pegasus saga and the legality of surveillance in India | In Focus podcast

Apar Gupta speaks to us on the constitutionality of electronic surveillance in India and whether the laws that govern them are robust enough

July 21, 2021 12:13 am | Updated 07:38 am IST

An international group of news publications are reporting that a spyware known as Pegasus has been used to spy on politicians, journalists, and activists in at least 10 countries. Reports from the group, which includes The Wire in India, The Guardian in the U.K., and Washington Post in the U.S. among others, suggest that in India, at least 40 journalists, sitting Cabinet Ministers, and holders of Constitutional positions were possibly subjected to surveillance. 

The Pegasus spyware is graded as a cyberweapon and NSO states that its clients include only authorised government entities from various countries. This leads to some problematic inferences, particularly in India where the target list includes Opposition leaders, social activists from leftist organisation, journalists who have written against the government and constitutional officers who have reportedly not toed the government line. 

In this podcast, we discuss the constitutionality of electronic surveillance in India and whether the laws that govern them are robust enough.

Guest: Apar Gupta, lawyer and Executive Director of the Internet Freedom Foundation.

Host: P.J. George

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