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Whatsapp replies to government; says alerted about privacy breach in September

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 04, 2019, 01.11 PM (IST)

Whatsapp on Sunday replied to the Indian Government's notice on Israeli firm's spyware Pegasus. Countering the Information and Technology (IT) Ministry's claim, the Facebook-owned entity said that it had alerted the government about the privacy breach in September.

Whatsapp said that it had informed the government that the privacy of 121 Indians was breached in September.

This, apart from the alert that it had sent to the IT Ministry in May this year.

However, the government said that while it did receive some communication from WhatsApp in the past, the alert was too vague and technical and did not specify the nature of the impact.

Journalists, activists and diplomats were targeted in the inter-continental spyware attack. WION's Siddhant Sibbal was also among those who were targeted.

Following this, the IT ministry had sought a detailed response from the messaging app saying that the Indian government was not informed about the hacks.

Remember, the Indian government had said that the messaging app failed to raise the snooping issue in august when the IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad held meetings with top Whatsapp bosses. 

The meetings were held after WhatsApp rumours were blamed for spreading misinformation in the backdrop of lynchings in India.

The case only came to light last week, when Whatsapp filed a lawsuit against the Israeli firm NSO over the pegasus spyware.

However, concerns over the snoop gate were raised back in March.

In March 2019, affected Indians began receiving suspicious missed calls.

Whatsapp first flagged the breach in may this year.

The IT ministry issued a notification about the vulnerability in the same month.