NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A right-wing social activist in India, has filed a petition asking the supreme court to order a probe into Facebook Inc’s (FB.And WhatsApp over the revelations, which is a piece of spyware, and had exploited vulnerabilities in the popular messaging app to snoop on hundreds of devices.
FILE PHOTO: A man poses with a smartphone, located in front of the display, Whatsapp logo, in this picture, the image of 14 September 2017. REUTERS/dado Ruvic
In the petition, a new legal headache for the WhatsApp and its parent company, Facebook, in India, where it has already been hit by a backlash over the fake news messages, as well as litigation related to compliance with the data localization, the standards, which have delayed the launch of a service for making payments on the WhatsApp, which is being used by more than 400 million Indians.
K. N. Govindacharya filed a petition on Monday, just days after Facebook accused the Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group, accusing it of helping clients to break into the phones of approximately 1,400 users across four continents around the world. The aims and objectives of the hacking spree, and included diplomats, political dissidents, journalists, along with military and government officials.
NSO has defended itself, saying that it will sell the technology to government and intelligence agencies to combat terrorism and organised crime.
Of those who reported to be affected by the NSO’s, Pegasus, spyware, 121 are based in India, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Govindacharya, who has previously fought and won the battles in court that have forced social media companies to implement certain policy changes in India, had asked the Supreme Court to take the country’s counter-terrorism agency, to probe Facebook, WhatsApp, and the NSO, for the violation of privacy of Indian users, according to a copy of the petition will be reviewed by Reuters.
Govindacharya, who is not affected by the WhatsApp’s rights, and is also on the lookout for “perjury proceeding, against the company for deliberately misleading” the court, in any other case, to account for the fact that it claimed to be “the user’s data is completely encrypted and none of us, including WhatsApp, the key to it.”
In a brief statement on Monday, WhatsApp said it will offer an end-to-end encryption to help protect users ‘ privacy and security, and the malware it had identified the targeted vulnerabilities within the underlying operating system of the device. It added that he had also taken action in the courts to keep the NSO is in charge.
Govindacharya’s petition also asked the court to order the federal government to stop any form of supervision by a Pegasus, or any other similar purposes.”
New Delhi has neither confirmed nor denied-with the help of the spyware, but in India it is the Technology of the prime Minister last week, tweeted that the government “is a defined protocol for interception,” and put down the opposition, trying to achieve the “capital” of the spying scandal.
Meanwhile, the Indian lawyers and activists, who were among them, and say that they are becoming more and more concerned about their safety and security, privacy, and state-backed surveillance.
Reuters talked with more than a half-a-dozen Indians, who have shown that they are among those targeted in the attack, and some say that they are going to sue.
“I’m going to be the right one to make,” he said Nihalsing Rathod, a human rights lawyer based in the Indian city of Nagpur.
“It would be against the government, and it will be available at NSO, and others,” said Rathod, who has been involved in the protection of the rights of the activists last year, has been accused of inciting violence, in a small village in the west of India.
Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal; Editing by Euan Rocha.