The committee has invited citizens who have reasonable cause to suspect that her/his mobile has been compromised to send the information before noon of January 7th, 2022
The Supreme Court-appointed technical committee, probing the Pegasus spyware snooping allegations, has issued a public notice seeking details from people who may have felt their mobile devices may have been infected by Pegasus malware.
The top court 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 has invited citizens who have reasonable cause to suspect that her/his mobile has been compromised should write to the technical committee at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 7 noon. They should give detailed reasons to substantiate their suspicions.
Citizens are also asked to inform it whether they are willing to examine their device. Newspaper reported that "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,".
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. While the hearing in the Pegasus case, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana had criticised the Union government for its refusal to clarify whether it had purchased and used the spyware and said it had to accept the prima facie case of the petitioners, including victims of Pegasus hacking, and examine their allegations.
The top court has also 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.
The apex court had also observed that the State cannot get a “free pass” every time the spectre of national security is raised and that its mere invocation cannot render the judiciary a “mute spectator” and be the bugbear it shies away from. Justice Raveendran is being assisted by Alok Joshi, a former IPS officer, and members of the technical team, which includes cyber security and digital forensic experts.
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.