The Editors Guild of India has expressed its shock and discontent over the reports of widespread surveillance of prominent members of civil society, politicians, businessman and journalists in India through Israeli spyware Pegasus.
The Editors Guild of India has demanded for a Supreme Court monitored probe over the snooping allegations. The organization wants the investigation to be carried out by a committee which comprises people with impeccable credibility and belonging to all walks of life like journalists and members of civil society.
The Guild said that this act of surveillance is a brazen attack on the basic tenets of constitutional democracy and seriously undermines the guarantee of freedom of speech and expression.
The organization also said that “This act of snooping essentially conveys that journalism and political dissent are now equated with ‘terror’. How can a constitutional democracy survive if governments do not make an effort to protect freedom of speech and allows surveillance with such impunity?”
As per a report published by The Wire about 40 journalists, political leaders from opposition parties like Rahul Gandhi and Mamta Banerjee, Former Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, staffer who levelled sexual harassment allegations against then CJI Ranjan Gogoi find their names in a list of people who were being targeted by the spyware.
The Pegasus spyware is developed by an Israeli software firm called NSO. As per reports published by reputed dallies the company is engaging in selling the software to various governments across the globe after getting it vetted by the Israeli Government.
As per the reports it is suspected that Indian agencies are also using this spyware to conduct snooping on its own citizens.