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After MHA's 'Non-Answer', Shashi Tharoor-led House Panel to Look Into WhatsApp Snooping Row Today

The Parliamentary committee consisting of 31 members will seek details from top government officials on the steps being taken by the Centre to prevent such incidents.

News18.com

Updated:November 20, 2019, 9:59 AM IST
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After MHA's 'Non-Answer', Shashi Tharoor-led House Panel to Look Into WhatsApp Snooping Row Today
File photo of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. (PTI Photo)

A parliamentary committee headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor will on Wednesday examine the issue involving the deployment of Israeli spyware to snoop on Indian citizens via WhatsApp.

The committee consisting of 31 members will seek details from top government officials on the steps being taken by the Centre to prevent such incidents. According to reports, lawyers and officials of Facebook, that own the messaging platform, have also been called to refurbish their sides of the story.

Last month, several lawyers, activists and three opposition leaders had confirmed their phones were hacked after WhatsApp revealed that Indian users were targets of surveillance using Israeli company NSO Group’s spyware Pegasus.

In all, the Facebook-owned messaging platform had said 121 Indians were targeted by the spyware and it had informed the government of it in May and September.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Home Affairs responded to a question asking clarification about whether the government was involved in the Whatsapp snooping issue. The MHA's response cited a law that allows agencies to monitor and decrypt any information stored in any computer on grounds of internal security.

The government is said to have asked WhatsApp to present an explanation on the privacy breach and list out measures taken to safeguard the privacy of million of Indians. The cyberattack on the Kundankulam nuclear plant is also likely to be brought up during the committee's discussion today.

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