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WhatsApp stays in a plight as Pegasus spyware victims ask govt to unveil ties with NSO group

Indian WhatsApp users attacked by the Pegasus spyware demand an explanation from the authorities, cite in an open letter that the officials must clarify.

The hardships for WhatsApp seem to grow roughly. After the government’s decision to file a lawsuit against the messaging platform and the use of Pegasus Spyware debacle, WhatsApp has now landed in another trouble. The group of Indians who fell victim by the spyware has demanded an explanation from the authorities, putting more distress on the service.

Facebook-owned WhatsApp led the hacking of devices of people, including journalists, lawyers, writers, academics, and social activists, who have now come forward asking the government to publicize its ties with the NSO Group, an Israeli cyber arms firm which is accused of deploying the Pegasus.

The spyware victims write an open letter to the government

The group of 19 Indians cited in an open letter that the officials must clarify whether the authorities had positioned cyber-surveillance on them. They said that the spyware had compromised not only their safety but also the security of their family, friends, clients, and sources. “It is a matter of public concern whether Indian taxpayer’s money has been spent on this kind of cyber surveillance,” they said in the letter, as quoted by Reuters.

The letter holds a deal of immense support the government can put into its lawsuit against the messaging giant. The group further added, soliciting an explanation, “We seek an answer from the government of India about whether it was aware of any contract between any of its various ministries, departments, agencies, or any state government, and the NSO Group or any of its contractors to deploy Pegasus or related malware for any operations within India?”

WhatsApp defends itself by filing a lawsuit against NSO group

In its defense, WhatsApp has claimed that:

  • Pegasus rolled out through the video calling feature and obtained the data from the users’ phones.
  • The platform has itself sued NSO Group, stating that it assisted its clients in breaking into the devices of around 1,400 users.

However, the Indian government speculates it to be a distraction to escape from any regulations. WhatsApp is in no terms to align by the demands of the authorities of the traceability of messages.

As studied, India holds a base of 400 Million WhatsApp users, and any decision unfavorable to the platform can apparently ruin its position in the global market.