Data theft: Real Source: Unknown

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Highlights

House panel fails to pinpoint source of data theft

Vijayawada: Did the previous Andhra Pradesh government buy Pegasus spyware as alleged by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee? This was the major controversy since March 2022 in the state.

So far, the state government could not find any concrete evidence to prove it. The Assembly which discussed this issue on March 21, 2022 alleged that the previous government had acquired the technology to hack the phones and other gadgets of individuals to listen to conversations and also watch the activities of Opposition leaders, industrialists, film personalities.

On Tuesday, House Committee Chairman Bhumana Karunakara Reddy tabled an 85-page interim report in the Assembly, but this report only suggested that an in-depth probe be conducted into the issue. The committee felt that the data was transferred but they could not find out the IP address. When the committee wrote to Google for details of the IP address, Google said that it had not allotted that IP address to anyone.

The committee hence felt that there was a need for further in-depth probe into the issue. However, it reiterated that between 2017-19, the private and personal information was misused by Seva Mitra app of the TDP and data of 30 lakh people who are against the TDP was collected unauthorizedly.

Meanwhile, the TDP MLAs protested over the way the report was laid on the table of the House. They said how could the government lay a report on the table of the House without circulating a copy of it to all members. The committee chairman said that they had only two copies and the members can get copies of the same from the Speaker's office.

Later, speaking at the Assembly media point TDP leader Payyavula Keshav said Google had made it clear that it could not identify the IP address for which the data was transferred. He said the ruling party failed to mention the details of data theft.

He said the YSRCP government had resorted to data theft using volunteers to collect Aadhaar cards of people in wards to prevent TDP supporters to link Aadhaar cards with voters' list.

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