WhatsApp Scandal: Political Leaders Demands Supreme Court To Order An Investigation Against WhatsApp

WhatsApp Scandal: Political Leaders Demands Supreme Court To Order An Investigation Against WhatsApp
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Highlights

A Congress-led group of opposition parties are likely to write to President Ram Nath Kovind asking Supreme Court-monitored investigation into the WhatsApp hacking scandal.

A former RSS ideologue filed a petition demanding the Supreme Court to order an investigation into Facebook Inc and WhatsApp over revelations that a piece of spyware had exploited exposures in the popular messaging app to snoop on hundreds of devices.

WhatsApp and its owner Facebook could face a new legal challenge in India with this petition. It has already been hit by criticism over fake news messages and a lawsuit around its observance to data localisation norms that together have delayed the launch of a payments service on WhatsApp, used by more than 400 million Indians.

A Congress-led group of opposition parties are likely to write to President Ram Nath Kovind asking Supreme Court-monitored investigation into the WhatsApp hacking scandal.

When the winter session commences on November 18, the matter will be brought up in the Parliament as well. Leaders of 13 parties with same opinion got together on Monday and discussed the issues challenging the country and people, and decided to meet again to join a protest in New Delhi. Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress leader who attended the meeting, said Opposition parties would meet again and discuss the WhatsApp snooping issue and choose on the future course of action. Regarding the same, the leaders are also expected to send a memorandum to the President.

The Congress party said its leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also received a message from WhatsApp informing her that her phone might have been hacked and blamed the ruling party of being involved in a "surveillance racket." The BJP hit back saying that the opposition party was imagining things that don't exist at all.

Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi also hit out at the Centre and asked the government to inquire how its technology firm snooped in to listen to the WhatsApp conversations of Indians.

Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal also demanded an investigation by the Centre into the "snooping" on activists, journalists and politicians, claiming that the Union government was "fully aware" of the security breach on WhatsApp.

Last week WhatsApp said Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally spied upon by unnamed entities by an Israeli spyware Pegasus, leading to a controversy over breach of citizens' privacy.

Following the revelation, the Indian government has asked WhatsApp to explain the matter and list the actions it has taken to safeguard the privacy of millions of Indians.

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