From the good folks at EPIC.org:
EPIC has joined with several international privacy and human rights advocacy groups in a statement calling for privacy reform in the wake of allegations that the Indian government used Pegasus to surveil activists, journalists, and opponents. The statement highlights the fundamental right to privacy established under both the Indian Constitution and international human rights law, condemns the illegal use of spyware, and calls for (i) an independent investigation into allegations of Pegasus use; (ii) surveillance reform ensuring independent judicial oversight and providing for judicial remedy; and (iii) establishing a data protection framework that will respect privacy rights. EPIC has previously filed suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to obtain records of a system designed to surveil journalists—the surveillance effort was subsequently suspended. In addition, EPIC has previously joined coalition letters calling for surveillance reform within the U.S. and has testified before Congress regarding the risks of commercial spyware.
The Pegasus allegations are just one, albeit important, concern about the Indian government when it comes to privacy, data protection, and human rights. For years now, PogoWasRight.org and especially DataBreaches.net have been reporting on concerns about the government’s denial of alleged breaches and the culture’s approach of minimizing or covering up breaches while “shooting the messenger” or trying to censor reporting on incidents unfavorable to businesses. More progress is needed in India, but it will be hard to make as long as the government and influential businesses continue to try to censor those who try to shine a light on problems.