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Attempts to malign govt over reported WhatsApp breach misleading: MHA

ANI | Updated: Oct 31, 2019 19:57 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 31 (ANI): Responding to media reports regarding the breach of privacy of Indian citizens on Whatsapp, the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday said that "the attempts to malign the government over the reported breach are completely misleading".
"Some statements have appeared based on reports in media, regarding breach of privacy of Indian citizens on Whatsapp. These attempts to malign the Government of India for the reported breach, are completely misleading," the MHA said in a statement.
The Home Ministry asserted that it is committed to protect the fundamental rights of citizens, including the right to privacy and will take strict action against any intermediary responsible for breach of privacy.
Clarifying that the government operates strictly as per provisions of law and laid down protocols, the Ministry said that there are adequate safeguards to ensure that no innocent citizen is harassed or his privacy breached.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed that the government has asked WhatsApp to submit an explanation after it informed several Indian users this week that they had been targetted by Israeli spyware called Pegasus.
As per reports, the WhatsApp has confirmed that Pegasus was used by operators to spy on journalists, diplomats, government officials, political dissidents and human rights activists in India.
WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned company, said that it had reached out to the people who were targetted but has declined to reveal the identities and "exact number" of those who were targeted.
The disclosure comes after WhatsApp announced that it was suing an Israeli surveillance firm, NSO Group, which helped government spies to hack into phones of around 1,400 users. (ANI)

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