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Prasad Slams Those Using WhatsApp Breach for ‘Political Capital’

He said the Government of India is concerned at the breach of privacy of citizens of India on WhatsApp.

Updated
India
2 min read
 Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
i

Information Technology Minister of India Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday, 31 October, said the Government of India is “concerned at the breach of privacy of citizens of India on the messaging platform WhatsApp.”

He also took a jibe at those he claimed are “trying to make political capital out of it”, saying that the Congress regime indulged in spying on former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and former Army Chief General VK Singh.

Catch all the coverage on WhatsApp snooping here.

“These are instances of breach of privacy of highly reputed individuals, for personal whims and fancies of a family,” the IT Minister said.

“Those trying to make political capital out of it need to be gently reminded about the bugging incident in the office of the then eminent Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee during UPA regime. Also a gentle reminder of the spying over the then Army Chief General VK Singh.” he wrote on Twitter.

Prasad said that the govt had sought a response from WhatsApp.

“Govt is committed to protecting privacy of all Indian citizens. Govt agencies have a well established protocol for interception, which includes sanction and supervision from highly ranked officials in central & state governments, for clear stated reasons in national interest,” he added.

Lawyers And Activists Targeted by Spyware

WhatsApp is suing Israeli spyware developer NSO Group for using its spyware Pegasus to exploit a vulnerability in WhatsApp that allowed attackers to plant it in users’ phones just by ringing the target’s device.

The NSO Group has maintained that it only sells the licences to its spyware tools to governments and State agencies with the approval of that country’s government.

At least two dozen Indians are among the 1,400-odd individuals who are confirmed to have been targeted globally by the spyware and surveilled.

Several Dalit rights lawyers and activists, including Bhima Koregaon lawyer Nihal Singh Rathod and Jagdalpur Legal Aid group member Shalini Gera, confirmed to The Quint that they were among those targeted.

The IT Ministry on Thursday sought a detailed response from WhatsApp on the attack by 4 November.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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