In the wake of revelations that scores of Indian journalists, activists, ministers, opposition leaders, businesspeople, and even a virologist were snooped on using the Israeli spyware Pegasus, I held a discussion with security experts to get an idea about what journalists, activists and the common people can do to protect themselves against cyber surveillance.
is principal threat researcher at Sentinel One, an American cybersecurity company, and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. is a public interest technologist at Freedom of the Press Foundation, a non-profit where NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden serves as the president.
At Johns Hopkins, Juan teaches a course on state-sponsored cyber threat actors, while Kushal does free workshops to help journalists, activists and advocates, especially in India, to safeguard their privacy and that of the people they work with.
Juan and Kushal talk about the Pegasus scandal and the larger problem of computer and mobile malware being used to snoop on journalists and activists. Juan pointed out how the activists jailed in the Bhima Koregaon case were targeted with simple rather than sophisticated malware like Pegasus, so it is imperative to take measures online to make it more difficult for attackers to get to you.
Aveek Sen is a computational journalist studying disinformation, fake news, hate posts online at . He tweets @aveeksen.