- The EGI demanded an independent Supreme Court-monitored inquiry into the alleged snooping
- The EGI criticized the spying on journalists, and stated that it was an ‘attack on the freedom of press’
- The Israeli company NSO which developed ‘Pegasus’, claimed that it sells its software to government clients vetted by the government of Israel
On Wednesday, the Editors Guild of India has expressed its concern and condemned the alleged targeting by Israeli spyware Pegasus on politicians, journalists, and constitutional authorities. The EGI demanded an independent Supreme Court-monitored inquiry into the alleged snooping. It added that journalists and civil society members should also be a part of the inquiry.
The Israeli company NSO which created and developed the hacking software, ‘Pegasus’, claimed that it sells its software to government clients vetted by the government of Israel. Referring to the statement, the EGI stated that it deepens the suspicion of the involvement of Indian government agencies in snooping on its own citizens.
The EGI criticized the spying on journalists, and stated that it was an ‘attack on the freedom of press’. “While some of the instances of surveillance might have been targeted against those who may be seen as credible national security threats, what is disturbing is that a large number of such targets were journalists and civil society activists. This is a brazen and unconstitutional attack on freedom of speech and press,” it said.
The EGI added that snooping on journalists and civil society activists amounts to equating journalism and political dissent with terrorism.
Furthermore, it questioned the democracy of the nation by asking how constitutional democracy survives if the governments do not make an effort to protect freedom of speech and allow surveillance with such impunity. “We may have veered away from the democratic values enshrined in our constitution,” it said.