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How affected was WhatsApp by Pegasus in India, asks SC | India News


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Center and WhatsApp, the latest entrant in app-based payment services, to respond to petitions challenging the privacy policy of the Facebook-owned service with a focus on how secure they were the platforms in front of the Pegasus spyware.
A set of petitions challenged WhatsApp’s new privacy policy even though the reasons challenging its previous privacy policy are still pending adjudication. A second set of petitions, including one from Rajya Sabha MP Binoy Viswam, has questioned the steps taken by payment applications run by multinationals like Google, Amazon and Facebook and raised the Pegasus spyware problem targeting WhatsApp users. .
Appearing for WhatsApp, leading defenders Kapil Sibal and Arvind Datar told a bank of the Chief Justice SA Bobde and justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian that WhatsApp Pay has received all authorizations from the authorities and that these requests should not cause no impediment.
But CJI Bobde said: “Has Pegasus resulted in any mishaps? Will any of you submit an affidavit saying that Pegasus had no negative effect? When Sibal said that it was up to the government to tell the court if Pegasus affected Indian WhatsApp users, the court asked all parties to submit their affidavits on pending petitions within four weeks. It also issued notices to the Center, the RBI and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) about Viswam’s request, which was argued by lead attorney Krishnan Venugopal.
Media reports had suggested that WhatsApp was allegedly used by Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO Group to monitor journalists and human rights activists using spyware called Pegasus, and WhatsApp had sued NSO Group in a US court complaining that it allegedly surveillance was carried out. between April and May 2019 in 20 countries, including India.
In his petition, Viswam had said: “RBI and NPCI have allowed three of the big four tech giants (Amazon, Google and Facebook / WhatsApp) to participate in the UPI ecosystem without much scrutiny and despite flagrant violations of the UPI guidelines. UPI and RBI regulations.
“Such conduct by RBI and NPCI puts the confidential financial data of Indian users at great risk, especially when these entities have been continuously accused of abusing the domain and compromising the data, among other things. Recently, due to the aforementioned allegations, the executive directors of these foreign entities were ordered to testify at a hearing with the judicial committee of the United States Congress ”.

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