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26 Aug 2021

Human Rights Watch, Access Now & 9 other human rights and civil society groups

India: Civil society calls for independent oversight of state surveillance & investigation following Pegasus revelations

"India: Spyware Use Violates Supreme Court Privacy Ruling", 26 August 2021.

Indian authorities should immediately, independently, and credibly investigate the government’s alleged use of advanced spyware to target activists and apparent opponents, Access Now, International Commission of Jurists [and nine other organisations] said today. The authorities should also put in place broad reforms to establish proper judicial and parliamentary oversight of government surveillance measures that fully comply with international standards on privacy and other civil liberties.

August 24, 2021, was the fourth anniversary of Puttaswamy... in which the Indian Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy is a fundamental right... Since then, the government, instead of overhauling the surveillance law framework and enacting robust data protection mechanisms, has used public safety and national security arguments in court and in parliament to deflect concerns about violations of privacy rights.


NSO Group has repeatedly denied the Pegasus news reports, claimed that the reporting is “erroneous and false,” and said it “will no longer be responding to media inquiries on this matter.” Previously the company claimed that the reporting was based on “wrong assumptions and uncorroborated theories.”


The surveillance allegations come amid an intensifying crackdown on freedom of speech and peaceful assembly by the... national government...