Ex­plain ties with NSO: What­sApp users to govt

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Front Page - Let­ter by 19 What­sApp hack­ing vic­tims

New Delhi: A group of 19 ac­tivists, lawyers and writ­ers whose phones were al­legedly hacked via the What­sApp mes­sag­ing plat­form asked the Modi gov­ern­ment on Fri­day to make pub­lic its ties with the Is­raeli firm ac­cused of de­ploy­ing the spy­ware.

“It is a mat­ter of pub­lic con­cern whether In­dian tax payer money has been spent on this kind of cy­ber sur­veil­lance...,” the let­ter said.

The sig­na­to­ries said that the spy­ware had com­pro­mised not just their safety but also the se­cu­rity of their friends, fam­ily, clients and sources. The gov­ern­ment has nei­ther con­firmed nor de­nied us­ing the spy­ware. It last week asked What­sApp to ex­plain the na­ture of the breach and the steps it was tak­ing to

We seek an an­swer from the gov­ern­ment on whether it was aware of any con­tract be­tween any of its var­i­ous min­istries, de­part­ments, agen­cies, or any state gov­ern­ment, and the NSO Group (the Is­raeli firm) or any of its con­trac­tors to de­ploy Pe­ga­sus or re­lated mal­ware for any op­er­a­tions within In­dia safe­guard user pri­vacy.

Ac­cord­ing to The Print web­site, sig­na­to­ries to the let­ter in­cluded Dalit ac­tivist Vira Sathi­dar, lawyers Ni­hal Singh Rathod, Jagdish Meshram, Ankit Gre­wal and Shalini Gera, ac­tivists Bela Bha­tia and Seema Azad.

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