Explain ties with NSO: WhatsApp users to govt
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.