Elgar Parishad Accused, Their Lawyers Write to SC’s Committee on Pegasus Spyware Targeting
The Wire / Sukanya Shantha
On January 3, the committee issued a public notice urging people to contact them in case they have reasons to believe that their phones were compromised using the malware.
Several human rights defenders and academics implicated in the Elgar Parishad case and their lawyers have sent their representation to the Supreme Court-appointed Technical Committee alleging that their phones were infected by the vicious Pegasus malware. Read more
Bhima Koregaon accused and their counsel write to SC’s Pegasus technical committee alleging snooping
The Leaflet / by The Leaflet
On January 3, the Supreme Court-appointed Technical Committee (TC) to investigate the snooping allegations using Pegasus spyware had issued a public notice urging citizens to contact it if they felt that their mobile device had been infected…
The Leaflet learns that at least four accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, and their counsel, Nihalsing B. Rathod, have written to the committee separately alleging that their mobile devices had been infected with the Pegasus malware. Read more
Counsel Of Bhima Koregaon Accused Writes To SC-Appointed Technical Committee Suspecting Hacking Of His Device
Live Law / by Srishti Ojha
A lawyer, who represented several persons implicated in the Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad case has written to the Technical Committee appointed by the Supreme Court to probe into the allegations of snooping through Pegasus, suspecting compromise of his mobile device by Pegasus Malware.
Advocate Nihalsing B Rathod, a practicing lawyer based in Nagpur has argued that his phone was intercepted for accessing the privileged communication and legal strategies drawn on behalf of his clients in the Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad. Read more
Bhima Koregaon accused, counsel write to SC appointed Committee alleging phones were compromised
Bar & Bench / by Abhimanyu Hazarika
Advocate Nihal Singh Rathod has offered to appear before the committee and submit his phone for probe.
A Nagpur-based lawyer on Friday wrote to the Supreme Court appointed Technical Committee probing the Pegasus spyware scandal, stating that he has reasons to believe his phone was hacked and compromised by the spyware. Read more
The digital forensic analyst said false evidence was planted against the retired professor to implicate her in the case.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the Bombay High Court on Thursday that Arsenal Consultancy, a digital forensic analyst that said false evidence was planted against retired Prof. Shoma Sen who is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon caste violence case, has “no locus standi to give opinion without court’s permission”. Read more
Countercurrents / by People’s Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL)
In a detailed report released today, 17th December, 2021, Arsenal Consulting, the Boston-based forensic investigation firm assisting the defense lawyers in the Bhima Koregaon (BK) case, and Amnesty Tech Security Lab, have confirmed that the iPhone of one of the key accused, Mr. Rona Wilson, was attacked multiple times by the Pegasus spyware. This has been simultaneously reported in the Washington Post and The Wire…
The publication of this report raises three extremely critical and troubling questions: Read full statement
Rona Wilson’s iPhone Infected With Pegasus Spyware, Says New Forensic Report
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
Arsenal Consulting was engaged by Wilson’s defence lawyers to study the electronic evidence submitted against him in the Elgar Parishad case.
Rona Wilson, a prisoners’ rights activist and academic based in Delhi, was a victim of both surveillance and incriminating document delivery for close to a year before his arrest on June 6, 2018, according to a new digital forensics report.
Wilson, originally from Kerala and who continued with his social activism work in Delhi, was one of the first persons to be arrested in the Elgar Parishad case. Read more
Phone of Indian activist jailed on terrorism charges was infected with Pegasus spyware, new analysis finds
The Washington Post / by Niha Masih
A smartphone belonging to jailed Indian activist Rona Wilson was infiltrated using NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware before his arrest, according to a new forensic analysis by Amnesty International’s Security Lab that reignites questions about the use of malware attacks against dissidents and government critics in India.
The analysis by Amnesty showed that two backups of an iPhone 6s belonging to Wilson, who has been in jail on terrorism charges since June 2018, had digital traces showing infection by the Pegasus surveillance tool, which its developer, the Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO Group, has said has been licensed only to government agencies. Read more
Pegasus spyware ‘found on phone of jailed critic of Narendra Modi’
The Guardian / by Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Michael Safi
Analysis of Rona Wilson’s phone found evidence it was infected with NSO Group spyware three months before arrest
The Indian government’s case against Rona Wilson, a jailed Indian activist and critic of Narendra Modi’s administration, is expected to face new scrutiny following allegations that his mobile phone was hacked using Israeli-made spyware just months before his controversial arrest. Read more
Allegations are mainly based on documents purportedly retrieved from electronic devices seized in the case.
… Police had charged her with recruiting for the CPI-Maoist, mobilising funds for the outfit and meeting “undercover” operatives. Allegations are mainly based on documents purportedly retrieved from electronic devices seized in the case. Read more
To: Parliamentary Subcommittee on Information Technology
We, the undersigned, demand that the parliamentary subcommittee on Information Technology open an investigation into the NetWire attack on the computers of the Bhima-Koregaon arrestees. There is overwhelming evidence that a malware attack took place. One of the world’s leading digital forensic investigation agencies, Arsenal Consulting, has conducted a thorough investigation and brought to light crucial evidence confirming the attack and the planting of incriminating documents on the hard drives of the Bhima-Koregaon arrestees. Independent experts have verified Arsenal’s findings. Read more /sign petition
The unravelling of a conspiracy: were the 16 charged with plotting to kill India’s prime minister framed?
In 2018, Indian police claimed to have uncovered a shocking plan to bring down the government. But there is mounting evidence that the initial conspiracy was a fiction – and the accused are victims of an elaborate plot
In April 2018, a large group of policemen arrived at the Delhi flat of Rona Wilson, a 47-year-old human rights activist. They had travelled from Pune in the western state of Maharashtra, and appeared, accompanied by Delhi police officials, at Wilson’s single-room flat at 6am. For the next eight hours, they scoured the modest premises, searching the files on Wilson’s laptop and rifling through his books. Read more
Pegasus Findings: Former Top Cops Call For Relook at Case Against Elgar Parishad / Press Note
Senior Retired Police Officers Say Cyber Hacking Operations Revealed in Bhima Koregaon Case and Pegasus Attack Have Serious Implications
By Family and Friends of BK16
Senior Retired Police Officers Say Cyber Hacking Operations Revealed in Bhima Koregaon Case and Pegasus Attack Have Serious Implications for Police Functioning, Rule of Law
“[Such practices] give a very wrong message to the police leaders” – Julio Ribeiro, retired DGP, Punjab and Gujarat
On a day when the Supreme Court heard petitions against the government’s refusal to inquire into the use of Pegasus spyware, three senior retired police officers addressed an online press conference raising serious concerns about the impact of surveillance and evidence planting. In the wake of clear proof of evidence planting emerging in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad cases, as well as the ongoing Pegasus revelations, Julio Ribeiro (former DGP, Punjab), Vikash Narain Rai (former DGP, Haryana) and SR Darapuri (former IG Police, Uttar Pradesh), said such revelations have serious implications for the rule of law and for the functioning of the country’s police. They criticised the government’s failure to investigate these crimes, and also called for the release of those arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case. …
Since FSL did not rule out the tampering of the laptop and remained silent on the issue, the counsel said that the laboratory’s analysis remains unreliable.
Rona Wilson’s counsel on Monday told the Bombay High court that Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) failed to respond to the question ‘whether Wilson’s hard disk was tampered with or not?’ Since FSL did not rule out the tampering of the laptop and chose to remain silent on the issue, the council said that the laboratory’s analysis remains unreliable.
Based on the reports published by US cyber forensic firm Arsenal Consulting, Wilson had moved the Bombay High court stating that there was tampering of evidence and his laptop was infiltrated with malware. Wilson thus asked for the charges against him to be dropped. Read more
Claims of evidence planted in device can be raised during trial: NIA to Bombay HC in Rona Wilson and Shoma Sen plea
Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi
“Much water has flown. Bail pleas have been heard and disposed of, they have even gone up to Supreme Court. The case is now posted for framing of charge and they want to stay the trial,” ASG Anil Singh argued.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the Bombay High Court on Wednesday that the allegation by Bhima Koregaon accused Rona Wilson and Shoma Sen that evidence was planted in their electronic devices, is an argument which can be raised before the trial court. Read more
Forensic Sciences Lab Doesn’t Rule Out Tampering Of Rona Wilson’s Laptop: Jaising To Bombay HC
Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim
… Arguing Wilson’s quashing petition under Article 226, Senior Advocate Indira Jaising submitted that FSL’s failure to respond to a specific question put by the then Investigating officer of the case: ‘whether Wilson’s hard disk was tampered with or not?’, indicates that their analysis is not reliable…
On Wednesday, Jaising submitted that the seizure of Wilson’s laptop was not secure as the ‘hash values’ of the electronic devices were not calculated. Moreover, his laptop was operated during the search in 2018, which was impermissible. Read more
Bhima Koregoan case: NIA opposes quashing pleas of Rona Wilson
Free Press Journal / by Urvi Mahajani
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has opposed the petitions filed by Rona Wilson, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, stating that it wasn’t maintainable because it entirely revolves around this theory of planting of evidence.
Wilson and other accused, Shoma Sen, have filed petitions in the HC seeking quashing of the case against them. Read more
The Supreme Court must take suo moto cognizance of the Pegasus spyware controversy and issue directions in respect of a certificate issued under section 65B of the Evidence Act, 1872. This certificate must verify that the investigative agencies have found no tampering on electronic devices that become their basis to arrest an accused, writes Abhay Nevagi.
… Consider these recent developments in India against the background of Pegasus and other hacking scandals. A petition in the Bhima-Koregaon case, Dr Shoma Sen vs State of Maharashtra, has raised serious concerns about the nature of the evidence against the accused, based on the findings of Arsenal, a reputed cyber-forensics agency based in the USA. Read more