Israeli spyware Pegasus
The continued use of spyware Pegasus, which an Israeli company sells to governments worldwide, has been confirmed with fresh reports. Like the phones it targets, Pegasus has been apparently updated and now comes with new surveillance capabilities.
What is Pegasus?
It is a spyware tool developed by an Israeli firm, the NSO Group.
Spyware spy on people through their phones.
Pegasus works by sending an exploit link, and if the target user clicks on the link, the malware or the code that allows the surveillance is installed on the user’s phone.
Once Pegasus is installed, the attacker has complete access to the target user’s phone.
What can Pegasus do?
Pegasus can “send back the target’s private data, including passwords, contact lists, calendar events, text messages, and live voice calls from popular mobile messaging apps”.
The target’s phone camera and microphone can be turned on to capture all activity in the phone’s vicinity, expanding the scope of the surveillance.
What is a zero-click attack?
A zero-click attack helps spyware like Pegasus gain control over a device without human interaction or human error.
So all awareness about how to avoid a phishing attack or which links not to click are pointless if the target is the system itself.
Most of these attacks exploit software which receive data even before it can determine whether what is coming in is trustworthy or not, like an email client.
What’s the Difference Between Malware, Trojan, Virus, and Worm?
Malware is defined as a software designed to perform an unwanted illegal act via the computer network. It could be also defined as software with malicious intent.
Malware can be classified based on how they get executed, how they spread, and/or what they do. Some of them are discussed below.
Virus: A program that can infect other programs by modifying them to include a possible evolved copy of itself.
Worms: Disseminated through computer networks, unlike viruses, computer worms are malicious programs that copy themselves from system to system, rather than infiltrating legitimate files.
Trojans: Trojan or trojan horse is a program that generally impairs the security of a system. Trojans are used to create back-doors (a program that allows outside access into a secure network) on computers belonging to a secure network so that a hacker can have access to the secure network.
Hoax: An e-mail that warns the user of a certain system that is harming the computer. The message thereafter instructs the user to run a procedure (most often in the form of a download) to correct the harming system. When this program is run, it invades the system and deletes an important file.
Spyware: Invades a computer and, as its name implies, monitors a user’s activities without consent. Spywares are usually forwarded through unsuspecting e-mails with bonafide e-mail i.ds. Spyware continues to infect millions of computers globally.
Draft anti-trafficking Bill
The Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021, is likely to be tabled in the upcoming monsoon session of Parliament.
Highlights of the Bill:
The bill proposes stringent punishments for offenders, including hefty fines and seizing of their properties.
The Bill also extends beyond the protection of women and children as victims to now include transgenders as well as any person who may be a victim of trafficking.
The draft also does away with the provision that a victim necessarily needs to be transported from one place to another to be defined as a victim.
Exploitation has been defined to include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation including pornography, any act of physical exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or forced removal of organs etc.
Applicability- The law will extend to:
What are the constitutional & legislative provisions related to Trafficking in India?
Trafficking in Human Beings or Persons is prohibited under the Constitution of India under Article 23 (1).
The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA) is the premier legislation for prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
Criminal Law (amendment) Act 2013 has come into force wherein Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code has been substituted with Section 370 and 370A IPC which provide for comprehensive measures to counter the menace of human trafficking.
Mysore King Tipu Sultan is at the centre of controversy in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation over attempts to name a garden after him in Govandi, a suburb in Eastern Mumbai.
What’s the controversy?
A local corporator had suggested that a newly developed garden be named after Tipu Sultan as he was a “freedom fighter” and had fought against the British East India Company.
The demand was accepted by the BMC administration in June and sent to the Market and Garden Committee for approval on July 15.
The move, however, drew criticism from the opposition who claimed that Tipu Sultan was an anti-Hindu leader and naming a garden after him would hurt religious sentiments of the community.
Who was Tipu Sultan?
He was a ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore and the eldest son of Sultan Hyder Ali of Mysore.
In the wider national narrative, Tipu has so far been seen as a man of imagination and courage, a brilliant military strategist who, in a short reign of 17 years, mounted the most serious challenge the Company faced in India.
Contributions of Tipu Sultan:
Fought the first Anglo-Mysore War (1767-69) at the age of 17 and subsequently, against the Marathas and in the Second Anglo-Mysore War (1780-84).
He fought Company forces four times during 1767-99 and was killed defending his capital Srirangapatnam in the Fourth Anglo Mysore War.
Tipu reorganised his army along European lines, using new technology, including what is considered the first war rocket.
Devised a land revenue system based on detailed surveys and classification, in which the tax was imposed directly on the peasant, and collected through salaried agents in cash, widening the state’s resource base.
Modernised agriculture, gave tax breaks for developing wasteland, built irrigation infrastructure and repaired old dams, and promoted agricultural manufacturing and sericulture. Built a navy to support trade.
Commissioned a “state commercial corporation” to set up factories.
Why are there so many controversies surrounding him?
There are concerns raised against Tipu Sultan on nearly every historical figure, perspectives differ.
Haider and Tipu had strong territorial ambitions, and invaded and annexed territories outside Mysore. In doing so, they burnt down entire towns and villages, razed hundreds of temples and churches, and forcibly converted Hindus.
The historical record has Tipu boasting about having forced “infidels” to convert to Islam, and of having destroyed their places of worship.
The disagreement then, is between those who see the “Tiger of Mysore” as a bulwark against colonialism and a great son of Karnataka, and those who point to his destruction of temples and forced conversions of Hindus and Christians to accuse him of tyranny and fanaticism.
Conjugal rights before Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is expected to begin hearing a fresh challenge to the provision allowing restitution of conjugal rights under Hindu personal laws.
What are conjugal rights?
Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 deals with restitution of conjugal rights.
Conjugal rights are rights created by marriage, i.e. right of the husband or the wife to the society of the other spouse.
The law recognises these rights— both in personal laws dealing with marriage, divorce etc, and in criminal law requiring payment of maintenance and alimony to a spouse.
Section 9 of the Hindu Marriage Act recognises one aspect of conjugal rights — the right to consortium and protects it by allowing a spouse to move court to enforce the right.
How can these rights be enforced?
When either the husband or the wife has, without reasonable excuse, withdrawn from the society of the other, the aggrieved party may apply, by petition to the district court.
And the court, on being satisfied of the truth of the statements made in such petition and that there is no legal ground why the application should not be granted, may decree restitution of conjugal rights accordingly.
Also, if a spouse refuses cohabitation, the other spouse can move the family court seeking a decree for cohabitation. If the order of the court is not complied with, the court can attach property. However, the decision can be appealed before a High Court and the Supreme Court.
Why has the law been challenged?
Main ground is that it is violative of the fundamental right to privacy.
It amounted to a “coercive act” on the part of the state, which violates one’s sexual and decisional autonomy, and right to privacy and dignity.
The provision disproportionately affects women. Women are often called back to marital homes under the provision, and given that marital rape is not a crime, leaves them susceptible to such coerced cohabitation.
Also in question is whether the state can have such a compelling interest in protecting the institution of marriage that it allows a legislation to enforce cohabitation of spouses.