WhatsApp says it alerted government of privacy breach in May, Centre denies it

To back its claim, a screenshot of the information shared with CERT-IN by WhatsApp was circulated by government sources.

Published: 02nd November 2019 09:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd November 2019 12:21 PM   |  A+A-

Whatsapp

For representational purposes

By IANS

NEW DELHI: Soon after tech giant WhatsApp got into a face-off with the Indian government claiming its officials met the Indian government in the last five months, government sources say the information provided was "pure technical jargon".

Government sources also say that WhatsApp had given information to CERT-IN, a government agency in May, but without any mention of Pegasus or the extent of the breach. It also insists, that the information shared was only about a technical vulnerability and had nothing to do with the fact that privacy of Indian users had been compromised.

ALSO READ: Agree with Indian government on need to safeguard citizens' privacy, taken strong action: WhatsApp 

To back its claim, a screenshot of the information shared with CERT-IN by WhatsApp was circulated by government sources.

Earlier, highly-placed official sources indicated a war with the messaging platform, alleging that the whole controversy may be a ploy by the messaging company to build pressure on governments to push back on their demands on traceability.

ALSO READ: Is your WhatsApp safe from 'Pegasus' spyware? Here's all you need to know

"WhatsApp officials have met Indian government in the last five months. This incident is of August.... then why did WhatsApp not inform us that time. Looking at our demand, now the US, UK and Australia have also raised pitch for traceability. So this is too much of a coincidence. This could be an attempt by WhatsApp to build pressure on countries to push back on growing global opinion for traceability using this example," a source said.

The snooping of human rights activists and journalists in India via an Israeli spyware called Pegasus has snowballed into a major political controversy.

ALSO READ: Government asks WhatsApp to explain breach, says Centre committed to protecting citizen privacy

Pegasus allegedly exploited WhatsApp's video calling system with installing the spyware via giving missed calls to snoop on 1,400 select users globally, including nearly 30-40 people in India.

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