This event discusses how states, facilitated by private companies, are unlawfully deploying targeted surveillance technologies against civil society around the world.
The biennial General Assembly resolution on human rights defenders that will be considered at its 76th session offers is an opportunity to discuss the effects of digital surveillance on the activities and safety of human rights defenders and their rights to privacy and freedom of expression, and to adopt measures that would allow defenders to continue exercise their human rights unhindered.
An Indian-led initiative is trying to ensure that the scandal surrounding the large-scale use of NSO Group’s Pegasus cyber-weapon does not simply die down (as previous scandals have).
We reproduce this call to organise and continue campaigning around some basic principles.
Dear friends, dear friends,
Warm greetings from India. You all know that we are going through a steady erosion of our democracy led by a right wing (Hindu) government under the leadership of Narendra Modi. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), along with its vast network of ideological supporters in India and abroad, seeks to establish a Hindutva majoritarian state based on the deprivation of its social, religious and other minorities. Read more
As the Pegasus phone intrusion saga unravels, raising troubling questions over the government’s invasion of privacy, veteran journalists and civil rights activists turn the heat on the Centre by petitioning the Supreme Court for a probe into the matter.
… The phone numbers of several persons accused in the Elgaar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, who are now behind bars, figure in the snoop list. They include M.T. Hany Babu, Rona Wilson, Vernon Gonsalves, Anand Teltumbde, Shoma Sen, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira, and Sudha Bharadwaj, along with the family members and friends of other co-accused persons. Read more
Newswire – A special issue dedicated to Father Stan Swamy
By India Civil Watch
Here’s what you will find inside Newswire 9
1. Spotlight: South Asian Dalit Adivasi Network (SADAN), Canada
2. Vidya Bhushan Rawat, Interview with Rana Khan
3. The Compassionate Revolution of Saint Stan Swamy (1937 – 2021), Shaj Mohan and Divya Dwivedi
4. Under the Mango tree, Madhumita Dutta
5. Stan Swamy in the eyes of a Thirteen Year old, Ananya Mamatha Anil
6. This Month in History, Balmurli Natarajan
7. Poetry! Download here
AILAJ’s August issue
By All India Lawyers´Association for Justice (A)
AILAJ’s August issue is out! It has pieces on Pegasus, UAPA, Father Stan Swamy and the plight of prisoners in light of the pandemic. It also contains all the representations AILAJ has made to various judicial and state functionaries.
The Opposition’s demands include an SC-monitored probe into the Pegasus issue and a high-level probe into the Rafale fighter jets deal, a repeal of three farm laws and early polls in J&K.
The leaders of 19 Opposition parties announced on Friday that they will organise joint protests and demonstrations across the country from September 20 to 30, even as they urged people to save India for a better tomorrow. Read more
Their full statement
… 10. Release all political prisoners, including those under draconian UAPA in Bhima Koregaon case and anti-CAA protests.
Click to enlarge
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. …
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
The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Pegasus PIL, listed for this week, is a momentous event for Indian democracy but no one seems to be overly excited about it. Emotions vary from pessimism to cautious optimism, much like the way the story itself was received.
… Pegasus and other such spyware is not only used for surveillance but also for data mining and planting evidence, which is the plaint of renowned tribal rights activists, academics and their associates arrested in the Bhima-Koregaon case. Read more
This is no ordinary spying. Our most intimate selves are now exposed
The Pegasus project shows we could all soon be ruled by states that know everything about us, while we know less and less about them.
Here in India, the summer of dying is quickly morphing into what looks very much like a summer of spying.
… Consider this: there are 16 activists, lawyers, trade unionists, professors and intellectuals, many of them Dalit, who have been jailed for years in what is known as the Bhima-Koregaon (BK) case. Read more