The Supreme Court appointed committee probing the Pegasus spyware snooping matter has issued a public notice seeking details from people who may have felt their mobile devices may have been infected by Pegasus malware.
The panel has asked the Pegasus victims to send the information before noon of January 7, 2022.
On October 27, the top court said it was compelled to take up the cause to determine the truth, as it appointed an independent expert technical committee supervised by a retired top court judge, Justice R.V. Raveendran, to probe the Pegasus snooping allegations.
The committee asked the citizens who have reasonable cause to suspect that her/his mobile has been compromised due to specific usage of NSO group Israel’s Pegasus software to contact it with reasons, which led them to believe that the device was infected with the malware.
The committee also asked the people to inform it whether they are in a position to allow it to examine the device.
“In case, the committee feels your responses for suspicion of the device being infected with the malware compel a further investigation, then the committee shall request you to allow examination of your device,” said the notice, which was issued in Sunday’s newspapers.
The committee said the collection point would be in New Delhi and the mobile device will be delivered back on completion of the tests/investigation.
The top court has authorised the technical committee to devise its own procedure to effectively implement and answer the terms of reference.
The committee can hold an investigation it deems fit and take statements of any person in connection with the inquiry and call for records of any authority or individual.
Justice Raveendran is overseeing the functioning of the technical committee and is assisted by Alok Joshi, a former IPS officer and Dr Sundeep Oberoi, Chairman, Sub Committee in the International Organisation of Standardisation/International Electro-Technical Commission/Joint Technical Committee.
The three members of the technical committee are Dr Naveen Kumar Chaudhary, Professor, Cyber Security and Digital Forensics, and Dean, National Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Dr Prabaharan P., Professor, School of Engineering, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri, Kerala, and Dr Ashwin Anil Gumaste, Institute Chair Associate Professor (Computer Science and Engineering), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.
On October 27, the apex court directed the committee to submit its report expeditiously and scheduled the matter for further hearing after eight weeks.