Pegasus used to target Wire founding editor Anand Mangnale: Amnesty International

According to reports, forensic analysis of Mangnale's iPhone had revealed a hacking attempt in August

Pegasus spyware has raised alarms due to ethical concerns around its usage. Representative image shows a smartphone displaying the home page of the NSO Group, its creator (photo: National Herald archives)
Pegasus spyware has raised alarms due to ethical concerns around its usage. Representative image shows a smartphone displaying the home page of the NSO Group, its creator (photo: National Herald archives)
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NH Digital

The Pegasus spyware was used by an unknown government agency to compromise the mobile phones of news website the Wire’s founding editor Siddharth Varadarajan and the South Asia editor of the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting project, Anand Mangnale, an investigation by human rights organisation Amnesty International and the Washington Post alleged today, 28 December.

According to a Reuters report, forensic analysis of Mangnale's iPhone had revealed a hacking attempt in August, triggering a wave of concerns over national security and calls for stricter IT regulations.

The Pegasus spyware, exclusively sold to government entities and designed to combat terrorism and crime, has raised alarms due to ethical concerns around its usage, compromising data security and privacy of individuals.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, former election commissioner Ashok Lavasa, Union ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Singh Patel, industrialist Anil Ambani and former Central Bureau of Investigation director Alok Verma were among the alleged targets.

Amnesty's Security Lab's own report included a statement from its head Donncha Ó Cearbhaill, saying, “Our latest findings show that increasingly, journalists in India face the threat of unlawful surveillance simply for doing their jobs, alongside other tools of repression including imprisonment under draconian laws, smear campaigns, harassment, and intimidation.”

Despite repeated revelations, there has been a shameful lack of accountability about the use of Pegasus spyware in India which only intensifies the sense of impunity over these human rights violations
Donncha Ó Cearbhaill, head, Amnesty International’s Security Lab

Amnesty International in its report also called for the findings of the Supreme Court Technical Committee Report on Pegasus use in India to be immediately released. 

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