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Congress Accuses Govt of 'Snooping' After WhatsApp Reveals Indian Journalists, Activists Targeted by Spyware

Facebook-owned WhatsApp said Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally spied upon by unnamed entities using an Israeli sypware Peagasus.

PTI

Updated:October 31, 2019, 6:49 PM IST
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Congress Accuses Govt of 'Snooping' After WhatsApp Reveals Indian Journalists, Activists Targeted by Spyware
Representative Image (AFP Relaxnews)

New Delhi: The Congress alleged on Thursday that the Modi government has been "caught snooping" after WhatsApp said that journalists and human rights activists in India have been targets of surveillance, as it urged the Supreme Court to hold the Centre accountable over the issue.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp said Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally spied upon by unnamed entities using an Israeli sypware Peagasus.

"Modi govt caught snooping! Appalling but not Surprising! After all, BJP Govt- 1. Fought against our right to privacy. 2. Set up a multi crore Surveillance Structure until stopped by SC. SC must take immediate cognisance and issue notice to BJP government," Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a tweet.

"A government that spies on journalists/activists/Opposition leaders and treats its own citizens like criminals has lost the right to lead in our democracy. We urge the SC to take suo motu cognizance of these illegal activities and to hold this government to account," he said in another tweet.

WhatsApp said it was suing NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance firm, that is reportedly behind the technology that helped unnamed entities' spies to hack into phones of roughly 1,400 users.

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.

Tagging a media report which claimed that 1.3 million Indian payment card details are up for sale on the dark web, Surjewala also alleged that "data theft and data fraud" has become the norm since Modi government came to power.

"Is this why Modi ji calls Data the new Oil (for BJP Machine?). 1.3 million Indian Payment Card Details are up for sale on Dark Web putting the card holders vulnerable to yet another synchronised fraud," he said.

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