The ability to pre-empt crime does not justify the violation of people’s civil rights, as our apex court held
Last week, when information about the WhatsApp hack broke, news channels were falling over themselves to try and make sense of what it really meant. I found myself on TV (ironically patched into the live broadcast through a WhatsApp video call) being vigorously cajoled by my fellow panellist to draw conclusions far bigger than the available facts seemed to warrant. The big question that everyone seemed to want an answer to was who exactly it was who had engaged NSO, the Israeli company at the centre of the controversy, to target the couple of dozen Indian lawyers, activists and journalists at whom the attack was aimed. Since NSO claims to only license its services to national governments, the unstated inference was that the Indian government was snooping on its own citizens.
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