Govt asks WhatsApp to explain snooping; Rakes up Pranab Mukherjee 'bugging incident'
New Delhi, Oct 31: Amid row over spyware on WhatsApp being used against journalists and human rights activists in India, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has asked the Facebook-owned messaging platform to explain the breach and list-out measures that have been taken to safeguard privacy of millions of Indians.
Govt asks for explanation
"The Government of India is concerned over the breach of privacy of citizens of India on the messaging platform WhatsApp. We have asked WhatsApp to explain the kind of breach and what it is doing to safeguard the privacy of millions of Indian citizens," Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted.
Prasad rakes up Pranab Mukherjee 'bugging incident'
Hitting out at the Opposition, Prasad said those trying to make political gain out of it should be reminded of bugging incidents in the office of former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee during the UPA regime, as also spying over then Army Chief General V K Singh.
"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 Gen V. K. Singh," Prasad said.
Congress wants SC intervention
The Congress alleged that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government has been "caught snooping" after WhatsApp said journalists and human rights activists in India have been targets of surveillance, and urged the Supreme Court to hold the Centre accountable over the issue.
WhatsApp snooping allegations
Facebook-owned messaging platform said Indian journalists and human right activists were among those globally spied upon by unnamed entities using an Israeli sypware Pegasus. These users span across four continents and included diplomats, political dissidents, journalists and senior government officials. However, it did not say on whose behest the phones of journalists and activists across the world were targeted. The information technology ministry has meanwhile sought a detailed response from WhatsApp on the issue and asked the platform to submit its reply by November 4.