Sources : Livelaw and The Hindu
Pegasus is a software with malicious behavior that focuses on gathering information about the person or the organization in order to inflict or harm them. Basically with the help of this software they can access your information from your phone and pass it on the other person or entity. They can also have access to your camera and help in developing the leak information.
The Pegasus project shows that there should be people of flawless credibility from different walks of life including journalists .The intent of snooping using the service of Pegasus project. The Pegasus scandal shows that we cannot take privacy for granted. The 2021 Project Pegasus has spied on more than hundred of people. The supreme court has intervened that there shall be no one liable to such an act with the lieu for the Pegasus. It was held by the court that a constitutional democracy survives if governments do not make an effort to protect freedom of speech and allows surveillance with such indemnity. Pegasus is basically a software that is a kind of spy on people through their phone. The spy is allocated on the phone through a message or a missed call on the number. If someone is having the history of the chat sheet as well as back up of any kind of software shared through their phone. Right to privacy is part of article 21 . With the upcoming emergence of Pegasus spyware , the independence and privacy of the judicial system will be in question. Microsoft says that they have already installed a safeguard in their device that has been built in against this malware.
In India Pegasus software is basically to keep an spy on top personalities like politician judges, CJI ,business man ,top bureaucrats and other eminent personalities to tackle the political and personal gain. This project hinders the privacy of the individual. There is more than has been said about international regulation of the unaccountable sale of spyware by shadowy entities such as the NSO Group.
The code of criminal procedure Section 92 (1) If any document, parcel or thing In the custody of a postal or telegraph authority is, in the opinion of the District Magistrate, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Court of Session or High Court wanted for the purpose of any investigation, inquiry, trial or other proceeding under this Code, such Magistrate or Court may require the postal or telegraph authority, as the case may be, to deliver the document, parcel or thing to such person as the Magistrate or Court directs.
The Telegraph Act, 1885 and the Information Technology Act, 2000. While the Telegraph Act deals with interception of calls, the IT Act was enacted to deal with surveillance of all electronic media therein communication, following the Supreme Court’s intervention in 1996. A comprehensive data protection law to address the gaps in existing frameworks for surveillance is yet to be enacted.
The information technology act As of now, the only law applicable to such a mechanism is the Information Technology Act, 2000. Section 69 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 deals with lawful interception. This law allows legal interception by the Central Government only in the interests of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defence of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above or for investigation of any offence.
The said interception has to follow the lawful interception process including following the requirements of the Information Technology. (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009.
Supreme court judgement
In the Kharak Singh case, The supreme court has held that there is no right to privacy but it has increased the area of liberty under article 21.
The supreme court in Puttaswamy Judgement held that Right to privacy is a fundamental right. Everyone has Right to Privacy and if violated, a person can move to the supreme court for their injunctions.
So we can say that the Intelligence agencies must be backed by the law. There must be a transparency between privacy and surveillance. The Accountability of government agencies such as a parliamentary oversight on it. The Judiciary can make the Government accountable in the current circumstances.