Opposition to meet President Kovind over WhatsApp breach
The Opposition plans to approach President Ram Nath Kovind over the WhatsApp privacy breach issue and aim to raise the matter during the upcoming winter session of Parliament, leaders who attended a meeting of Opposition parties on Monday said.Updated: Nov 05, 2019 10:13 IST
The Opposition plans to approach President Ram Nath Kovind over the WhatsApp privacy breach issue and aim to raise the matter during the upcoming winter session of Parliament, leaders who attended a meeting of Opposition parties on Monday said.
Several rights activists, lawyers, and journalists on Thursday said they had been identified as targets of a phone hack aimed at snooping on them, a day after WhatsApp went public with allegations against an Israeli firm for having misused its platform to aid spying on around 1,400 people across the world.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a leader who attended Monday’s meeting said members from over 13 Opposition parties will submit a memorandum to the President, demanding an independent inquiry into the privacy breach. “Apart from the memorandum, we will also raise the issue in the winter issue of the Parliament,” the leader said and added that they have sought an appointment from the President.
The Congress on Sunday said the party’s general secretary, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, was also informed by WhatsApp that her phone data was suspected to have been breached, with party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accusing the Centre of being involved in a “surveillance racket”. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit back, saying the Congress was “imagining things” that do not exist.
Another leader, who was present at the meeting, said the issue of privacy breach was not restricted to political rivalry between two parties. “This is not a BJP versus Congress issue, as there will be a time when the BJP becomes the Opposition. This cannot be a new normal in our political behaviour,” said the leader.
Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that the government is “concerned at the breach of privacy of citizens of India” on WhatsApp. He also took a veiled dig at the Opposition, suggesting that those “trying to make political capital” out of the issue had spied on their political rivals.