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Sci-Tech
Thursday Oct 31 2019
By
Reuters

India asks for explanation over Whatsapp privacy breach

By
Reuters
India has asked Facebook-owned WhatsApp to explain the nature of a privacy breach on its messaging platform. Photo. Reuters

NEW DELHI: India has asked Facebook-owned WhatsApp to explain the nature of a privacy breach on its messaging platform that has affected some users in the country, Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said on Thursday.

A WhatsApp spokesman was quoted by the Indian Express newspaper on Thursday as saying that Indian journalists and human rights activists were targets of surveillance by an Israeli spyware. The company said it was “not an insignificant number” of people, but did not share specifics.

Also read: WhatsApp sues Israeli firm NSO over cyberespionage

WhatsApp’s comments came after the messaging platform sued Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group on Tuesday, accusing it of helping government spies break into the phones of roughly 1,400 users across four continents including diplomats, political dissidents, journalists and government officials. NSO denied the allegations.

“We have asked WhatsApp to explain the kind of breach and what it is doing to safeguard the privacy of millions of Indian citizens,” Prasad said 

Read more: WhatsApp working to bring a ‘self-destruct’ feature for sensitive messages