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Messaging application Signal tweets amid Pegasus row, says 'interesting coincidence'

In its tweet Signal commented on the government's new IT laws that require messaging apps to break encryption, 'trace' chats and identify users in a conversation chain.

July 20, 2021 / 07:15 PM IST
(Image: AFP)

(Image: AFP)


Messaging application Signal, which at one point was touted as a more secure version of Whatsapp has tweeted taking a jibe at the government amidst the growing outrage over the Pegasus phone-hacking row.

In its tweet Signal commented on the government's new IT laws that require messaging apps to break encryption, 'trace' chats and identify users in a conversation chain.

Linked along with the tweet, was the report by the Guardian that was headlined as, "Key Modi rival Rahul Gandhi among potential Indian targets of NSO client"

Signal gained popularity in India when Whatsapp had come under scrutiny for its privacy policy which would allow it to share information with parent company Facebook.

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With regards to the Pegasus row, the latest development on July 20 claims that the phone numbers linked to top Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) leaders in Karnataka were likely targeted with Pegasus spyware in July 2019, shortly before the HD Kumaraswamy-led government was toppled, a report said on July 20.

The phone numbers which were allegedly targeted include those of G Parameshwara, the then deputy chief minister of Karnataka, and personal secretaries of then Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy and former state CM Siddaramaiah.

A day earlier, on July 19 it was reported that  Leader of the Congress party Rahul Gandhi was also a potential surveillance target along with poll strategist Prashant Kishor.

On the same day, when the Monsoon session of the parliament began, IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said it was all sensationalism with no substance.

"Any form of illegal surveillance is not possible with checks and balances in our laws and robust institutions. In India, there is a well-established procedure through which lawful interception of electronic communication is carried out for purpose of national security," Vaishnaw added.

The Pegasus row exploded Sunday after The Wire - reporting in tandem with international media houses said phone numbers, including those belonging to journalists and opposition leaders critical of the government, were found on a list of potential surveillance targets between 2017 and 2019.

The government has denied any "unauthorised interception", and declared the reports to be "sensational", "over-the-top" and aimed at maligning the image of Indian democracy.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jul 20, 2021 07:15 pm

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