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Malware found in phones, but ‘inconclusive’ if Pegasus: Supreme Court

nso-pegasus-afp (File) A woman uses her iPhone in front of the building housing the Israeli NSO group, in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv | AFP

Hearing petitions on the possible deployment of Pegasus spyware on the phones of certain activists, the Supreme Court said that the technical committee report showed that five out of 29 phones given to the committee had malware in them. However, the court observed that, as per the report, there was no conclusive proof on the use of Pegasus.

After several global media outlets reported in July that various governments had used the Israeli-made Pegasus software for spying, a number of people approached the Supreme Court, seeking a probe into its use in India.

The pleas alleged the use of Pegasus to snoop on phones of around 300 people in India, including journalists, activists and opposition leaders. Veteran journalists N. Ram and Shashi Kumar and the Editors Guild of India were among the parties who sought an independent probe into the Pegasus scandal.

At the time, the bench noted it only wanted to know whether the Centre used the Pegasus spyware through illegal methods to allegedly snoop on citizens. Citing national security, the Centre had refused to file a detailed affidavit in the matter. Later in September, the Supreme Court announced it would constitute an expert committee to look into the allegations.

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