The curious case of Pegasus, George Soros, and Indian media sheep

by

The curious case of Pegasus , George Soros and Indian media sheep

Disclaimer: We don’t have any intention to doubt or question or influence our judiciary or their process or question the competence of the investigation committee formed by the apex court in the case. This is just based on our observations and information in the public domain. We have full faith in the Indian government, judiciary system and believe strongly in all citizen’s rights. Views are strictly personal. We are no legal or technical authority on the subject.

 
Sometime back the supreme court has ordered an investigation into the Pegasus spying controversy and has formed a committee for the same. For the first-timer Pegasus is spyware developed by the NSO group of Israel that has the capacity to be installed in any mobile phone and which can then send all the talks back to the base. A very potent tool indeed that we see only in James Bond kind of movies. 


Background: 

Pegasus was discovered in August 2016 after a failed installation attempt on the iPhone of a human rights activist led to an investigation revealing details about the spyware, its abilities, and the security vulnerabilities it exploited. News of the spyware caused significant media coverage. It was called the “most sophisticated” smartphone attack ever and was the first time that a malicious remote exploit used jailbreaking to gain unrestricted access to an iPhone.

On August 23, 2020, according to intelligence obtained by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, NSO Group sold Pegasus spyware software for hundreds of millions of US dollars to the United Arab Emirates and the other Gulf States, for surveillance of anti-regime activists, journalists, and political leaders from rival nations, with encouragement and mediation by the Israeli government. Later, in December 2020, the Al Jazeera investigative show The Tip of the IcebergSpy partners, exclusively covered Pegasus and its penetration into the phones of media professionals and activists; and its use by Israel to eavesdrop on both opponents and allies.

In July 2021, widespread media coverage of the Project Pegasus revelations along with an in-depth analysis by human rights group Amnesty International uncovered that Pegasus was still being widely used against high-profile targets. It showed that Pegasus was able to infect all modern iOS versions up to iOS 14.6, through a zero-click iMessage exploit.

In 2020, a list of over 50,000 phone numbers believed to belong to individuals identified as “people of interest” by clients of the Israeli cyberarms firm NSO Group was leaked to Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories, a media nonprofit organization based in Paris, France. This information was passed along to 17 media organizations under the umbrella name “The Pegasus Project”. Over several months, over 80 journalists from The Guardian (United Kingdom), Le Monde and Radio France (France), Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung, WDR and NDR (Germany), The Washington Post and Frontline (United States), Haaretz (Israel), Aristegui Noticias and Proceso (Mexico), Knack and Le Soir (Belgium), The Wire (India), Daraj (Syria), Direkt36 (Hungary), and OCCRP investigated the spying abuses. Many of the people/organizations doing the investigation are linked to one Open society forum (OSF ) promoted by billionaire George Soros. [1] 

Who is George Soros 


We don’t think George Soros needs any introduction. He is born Hungarian and a billionaire who has made his fortunes through investment banking and other means. He is said to have assets worth 8.6 billion dollars last reported. He has formed an organization Open society forum (OSF) through which he donates liberally to many NGOs and other joints in various parts of the world including India. He has been known to donate to missionary organizations, anti-Sterlite copper plants in Tuticorin, Media houses that are anti-Modi, and other such projects in the country. Even the anti CAA and maybe farmers’ protest could have seen his money flowing in. 


The curious case of Pegasus in India 


As the international pressure on pegasus spyware got heated up, Indian media also woke up and started building the pressure. Siddharta Varadrajan founder of The Wire was a part of the pegasus international project and is said to have links with OSF. There are many media houses known to receive foreign funding from various NGOs.

IT IS ALLEGED THAT pegasus was used to target some high-profile organizations and their key persons and were spied .


We would like the attention of the readers to the words in capital and keep the same in mind. Further after these allegations, no single entity who may have or have this pegasus spyware on his mobile ( or whatever) has filed a complaint through the affidavit in the court. Basically, it means that the whole case on the supreme court is based on ALLEGED misuse of Pegasys spyware with no real man or entity who can claim that – yes he has been a genuine victim of Pegasus by the Indian government. [2] 


It, therefore, becomes a curious case where there has been no bonafide complainant who can say with certainty that he has been spied. It essentially means that the whole Pegasus spyware investigation in the country is based on HEARSAY and RUMOUR and ALLEGATIONS. 


The observation of the court in its judgment is as follows: ” Some of the Writ Petitioners before this Court allege to be direct  victims  of   the   Pegasus   attack,   while   others   are   Public Interest Litigants. They raise the issue of the inaction on the part of   the   Respondent­Union   of   India   to   seriously   consider   the allegations   raised,   relating   to   the   purported   cyberattack   on citizens of this country. ….” [2] 

Again mind the words Allege.

 
It should be also noted that it is alleged that when PM Modi and NSA visited Israel this pegasus spyware was brought from NSO group. However, on record, there has been no contact between the Indian government and NSO group. 


Conclusion

While the case is now in court and there is a committee who is already investigating allegations we just found it interesting and a bit funny that cases without full formal proofs/evidence are contested in the court based purely on ALLEGATIONS, MEDIA REPORTS etc. Maybe they are to uphold the citizen’s trust in DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNMENT and for our privacy. We remember something similar happening in a civil court where the victim has to suffer in prison just because someone filed a case against him for misconduct. Interestingly, the person who filed the case had heard it from someone else. Later the victim was found to be innocent. Long live our democracy and judicial system. 
References:
[1] https://zeenews.india.com/india/gravitas-plus-who-is-behind-pegasus-project-2381238.html
[2] https://main.sci.gov.in/supremecourt/2021/16884/16884_2021_1_1501_30827_Judgement_

Note: Comments are invited if you have a view in support or counter.

admin
Author: admin

0
No tags 0 Comments 0

No Comments Yet.