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Modi may pick ace banker KV Kamath for a finance ministry role

There is also the likelihood of Suresh Prabhu making a comeback to the Modi government.

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Jan 18, 2020, 02.59 PM IST

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Facebook India head appears before parliamentary panel on WhatsApp snooping issue

The parliamentary standing committee on Information Technology called the cyber security experts to hear their views on the issue of citizens data security and privacy. As per the notice of the meeting, the panel had also called non-official witnesses of the WhatsApp snooping row, including BJP's former organisational secretary Govindacharya.

Government may spare Google from its phishing probe

The government is nevertheless planning to issue a notice to Google asking why it had not...

Government wants to conduct audit of WhatApp Security System after NSO espionage

The govt wants to audit WhatsApp's security systems over the...

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  • Google has said in a post that its Threat Analysis Group sent more than 12,000 warnings to users in 149 countries from July to September 2019 that they were targeted by government-backed attackers.

    WhatsApp lawsuit reveals how private equity firms play key roles in the growth of surveillance tech companies. NSO cofounders did a classic management buyout of the company from San Francisco-based PE firm Francisco Partners. Francisco Partners was co-founded in 1999 by former TPG Capital principal Dipanjan ‘DJ’ Deb along with David Stanton, another senior TPG executive.

    The Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) had published a vulnerability note on May 17 advising countermeasures to users about a vulnerability in WhatsApp, according to Union Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. WhatsApp reported an incident to the CERT-In on May 20, the Minister said.

    The Draft Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018, which mandates storing of critical personal user data within the territory of India, or data localization, is likely to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament. Multinational companies have previously also opposed India’s moves on data localisation, saying it will drive up costs.

    In Sept 2019, WhatsApp told CERT-In of attempts to target 121 Indians & around 20 may have been impacted.

    Facebook-owned WhatsApp says it had informed India's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) in May about the malware in their messaging ...

    Activists say Whatsapp has been exposed to snooping by surveillance firms based out of China. Tenzin Dalha, a research fellow at the Tibet Policy Institute in Dharamshala said WhatsApp had not reached out to him or other activists who were victims of the malware.

    WhatsApp's response to the government on Friday comes amid allegations that it had withheld information about Indian citizens being among those affected by the widespread hacking. The Facebook-owned messaging platform sais it had informed the country’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) about the malware in the messaging application in May.

    The spyware can monitor up to 500 phones in a year, but can only track a maximum of 50 at one go. He said it costs about $7-8 million per year to license Pegasus as per the sources on Pegasus' snooping capabilities. Allegedly the Israeli company developed a program that copied WhatsApp’s network traffic to target devices over the app’s servers.

    NSO Group says that it is a supplier of surveillance tools to governments and law enforcers, and its products tackle and prevent serious crimes and support search and rescue operations after natural disasters.

    India holds for around a fourth of WhatsApp’s global 1.5 bn accounts. The security hole has made many fearful.

    "We agree with the government of India's strong statement about the need to safeguard the privacy of all Indian citizens. That is why we've taken this strong action to hold cyber attackers accountable and why WhatsApp is so committed to the protection of all user messages through the product we provide," a WhatsApp spokesperson said.

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