India's main opposition party INC alleges its leader's phone hacked through WhatsApp

Source: Xinhua| 2019-11-04 09:13:23|Editor: Li Xia
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NEW DELHI, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- India's main opposition party -- the Indian National Congress (INC) on Sunday alleged that the smart-phone of their prominent leader Priyanka Gandhi was snooped upon through WhatsApp.

On Sunday, the INC spokesman Randeep Surjewala told media that the party's General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi had received a caution message from WhatsApp saying that her mobile phone was being targeted.

In a sensational revelation, Facebook-owned social media platform and messenger app for smartphones WhatsApp said at least 24 Indians, including journalists, lawyers and human right activists were snooped upon by an Israeli spyware in May this year.

According to a report carried by The Indian Express daily, these Indians were targets of surveillance by operators using an Israeli spyware Pegasus.

Priyanka is the daughter of the INC President Sonia Gandhi and former Premier Rajiv Gandhi, grand-daughter of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and great-grand-daughter of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

She is also the INC's general secretary.

"Priyanka Gandhi too received a similar message from WhatsApp around the same time when the messaging application was sending messages to those whose phones were allegedly hacked," said Surjewala while addressing a press conference.

Following the furore over the spyware allegations, the Indian government had on Thursday taken a stern note of it, and asked WhatsApp to explain why the countrymen's phones were hacked.

The country's Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Centre Government was concerned at the "breach of privacy of citizens."

In a statement, the minister said that Indian Government had asked WhatsApp to explain the kind of breach and what it was doing to safeguard the privacy of millions of Indian citizens.

"Government of India is committed to protecting the privacy of all Indian citizens. Government agencies have a well established protocol for interception which includes sanction and supervision from highly ranked officials in Central and state governments, for clear states reasons in national interest," he said in the statement he tweeted on Thursday.