Skip to main content

Is our privacy at risk?

 Is Our Privacy At Risk?

The most controversial topic that we come across today is Right To Privacy Vs National Security. Pegasus Spyware which shocked the entire nation when it comes to knowledge that around 300 mobile phone numbers in India have been targeted by Pegasus which includes devices belonging to journalists, politicians, business persons, legal and other professionals and it was also alleged that Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan's device was also traced.


What is Pegasus Spyware?

Pegasus is a spyware developed by Israeli firm NSO (Niv, Shalev and Omri) group in 2010, a malicious software that can enter your device, gather the data and forward to a third party without the consent of the user. It can be operated on both android and ios. The spyware is named after Pegasus which means the winged horse in Greek Mythology. The Pegasus Spyware is capable of reading text, messages, can access the device microphone and camera without the knowledge of the targeted user.


History of Pegasus Spyware

In 2016 it was first discovered by researchers at Canadian based cyber security organization THE CITIZEN LAB when the Pegasus was trying to enter Jamal Khashoggi's (Saudi Arabian Journalist) iPhone. Apple came to know about the spyware and hence Pegasus was first discovered.

In 2016, the spyware used the technology called Spear Phishing, the hackers send email to infect the smartphone.



In September 2018, The Citizen Lab published a data that identified 60 customers from 40 countries.

In 2019, the spyware call on WhatsApp and if the user answered the call, the virus entered the device.

In 2021, a new technology was developed called ZERO CLICK ATTACK, the code enters the phone even if the call is not answered which made it difficult to trace the hacker.
NSO group claimed that they maintained the software only for government officials to use against money laundering, terrorists and criminal activity. Pegasus is also very costly; it costs around $7-8 million for 50 smartphone which becomes difficult for a private player to use.


Why in News?

In July 2021, Forbidden Stories, a Paris based non profit journalism organization and Amnesty International shared information with 16 media organization including The Guardian. Since 2016 around 50,000 phone numbers have been leaked according to data published. Sample of 37 mobiles were conducted and around 10 Indian phones were found to be subjected which show signs of Pegasus Spyware.


Legal Positions in India

Justice K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd.) and Anr. vs Union of India And Ors, 2017 landmark judgement in which Supreme Court holds the right to privacy and is protected under Article 14, 19 and 21. Right to Privacy is enshrined under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. Supreme Court ordered the government to pass a law on data protection. 9 Judge bench held that:
The right to privacy is protected as an intrinsic part of the right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 and as a part of the freedoms guaranteed by Part III of the Constitution
Section 69 of the Information Technology Act 2000 authorizes the government to conduct surveillance, permits the government to monitor information without any judicial inspection. But the provision does not allow the government to install spyware. Section 66 reads with Section 43 of IT Act 2000, criminalizes the hacking of devices.



Indian Telegraph Act 1885 allows for tracking of phones in matters of state security and part 4 deals with penalties and offence under the Telegraph.

Section 72 of IT Act 2000, penalizes for breach of confidentiality and privacy. Any person who without the consent discloses electronic record, correspondence information or document will be imprisoned for 2 years or fine of maximum 1 lakh or both.


Supreme Court Investigation on Pegasus

On 27 October Supreme Court appointed an independent committee to probe the allegations of the unauthorized surveillance. Supreme Court said:
Government can't get free pass every time when 'national security' is raised.

The ruling came after 12 petitioners filled a case. The plea said that spyware is violation of the right to privacy which is a fundamental right under article 21.

3 Member Technical Committee has been appointed by Supreme Court. The members include Dr Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, Dr Prabaharan P and Dr Ashwin Anil Gumaste. The committee will be supervised by Justice RV Raveendran and he will be assisted by Dr Sundeep Oberoi and Alok Joshi.

India needs an appropriate law to regulate personal data so that the privacy of individuals do not get hamper keeping in mind national security. The government has proposed the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019 on 11 December 2019. Currently the bill is being scrutinized by the Joint Parliamentary Committee. The bill regulates personal data and provides protection of personal data of individual and it can only be processed for specific and ethical purpose.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

INCOME TAX SECTION 32AD - Investment in new plant or machinery in notified backward areas in certain States

 Description (1) Where an assessee, sets up an undertaking or enterprise for manufacture or production of any article or thing, on or after the 1st day of April, 2015 in any backward area notified by the Central Government in this behalf, in the State of Andhra Pradesh or in the State of Bihar or in the State of Telangana or in the State of West Bengal, and acquires and installs any new asset for the purposes of the said undertaking or enterprise during the period beginning on the 1st day of April, 2015 and ending before the 1st day of April, 2020 in the said backward area, then, there shall be allowed a deduction of a sum equal to fifteen per cent of the actual cost of such new asset for the assessment year relevant to the previous year in which such new asset is installed. (2) If any new asset acquired and installed by the assessee is sold or otherwise transferred, except in connection with the amalgamation or demerger or re-organisation of business referred to in clause (xiii)or cla

60 Minute Marriage Counselling Session On Phone

Description A 60 minute phone call with an expert Marriage\Relationship Counselor to discuss your marriage\relationship related issues. Counselling aims to resolve issues and improve communication in a relationship. Couples’ counselling works with both people in the relationship, however sessions can start with one individual, working towards the involvement of the other partner. What's Included a) 60 minute phone call with the counselor where you can discuss all your issues and seek guidance. What's Not Included a) Counselling session via meeting

Send Legal Notice for Divorce

 India being a secular country derives a large part of its laws from various religious practices. One such area of law is Divorce law of India. A divorce case in India can be initiated by either party based on the procedure relevant as per the law applicable to the parties. However, the procedure for divorce always starts with sending a legal notice.   Either party can send a legal notice to the other spouse intimating his/her intent to initiate legal proceedings for divorce. Sending a legal notice acts as a formal way of communication by one party to the other acting as a warning and at the same time creating chances for a last attempt for conciliation, if possible. Connect with an expert lawyer for your legal issue   What is a legal notice for divorce? A legal notice refers to a formal communication to a person or the opposite party in a case, informing him/her about one’s intention to undertake legal proceedings against him/her. Therefore, a legal notice for divorce is a formal inti