Snoopgate: Cong says govt refusing to answer questions

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala. (PTI Photo)

The Congress on Saturday hit out at the Centre over the snooping controversy, saying a "dishonest" government is refusing to answer key questions like who purchased and deployed the illegal spyware used for the alleged surveillance.

On Thursday, Facebook-owned company WhatsApp had said Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally spied upon by unnamed entities using Israeli spyware Pegasus, leading to a furore over breach of citizens' privacy.

Congress' chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala attacked the government saying that in May, WhatsApp had "quickly resolved a security issue and notified relevant Indian and international government authorities".

"A dishonest BJP Govt refuses to answer relevant questions on #WhatsAppSpygate - 1. Who in GOI purchased & deployed the illegal spyware? 2. Who-PM or NSA-authorised the purchase? 3. If Facebook had informed GOI in May 2019, why was govt mum? 4. What action against the guilty," he said in a tweet.

Following the disclosure by WhatsApp, the Indian government has asked the messaging platform to explain the matter and list out the measures that have been taken by it to safeguard the privacy of millions of Indians.

According to sources, the company has been asked to submit its response by November 4.

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