Democracy depends on an equality of arms. If governments acquire political weapons unavailable to their opponents, they become harder to dislodge. They now possess so many that I begin to wonder how an efficient autocracy, once established, might ever again be overthrown. The Pegasus spyware, whose widespread use by governments the Guardian has helped reveal, is just the latest variety of asymmetric force.
The ability to peer into someone’s life from a distance, to track their every movement, word and intention, grants autocrats an unprecedented power. It turns us into informants against ourselves. No one subject to this spying can now plan, however peacefully and democratically, to replace a government without those plans being known in advance and in all likelihood thwarted….
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever” – George Orwell’s Final Warning
Bharat Bhushan – Pegasus impact: Loss to Indian Republic and government is much greater
Bharat Bhushan: Has Modi government compromised national security through Pegasus? / Pegasus spyware: the export of self-censorship / Saudi Government used Pegasus to murder journalist Jamal Khashoggi / Global fightback against spyware
Pratap Bhanu Mehta: What the Pegasus scandal means for Indian democracy / Shoaib Daniyal: Spyware attack threatens pillars of India’s electoral democracy
Samar Halarnkar: The lights begin to wink out in India’s democracy
Interview: Philosopher Bruno Latour on Challenges of Identity Politics in India
Society of the Spectacle / ‘इमेज‘ – ‘Image’: A Poem on Deaths in the Age of Covid