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Who is spying on Indians? WhatsApp, Pegasus spyware maker, the government are caught in a blame game

As the mystery around who hired the NSO Group, the Israeli surveillance company, for allegedly spying on Indian journalists and activists deepens, the government is blaming WhatsApp, which is pointing fingers at NSO. The Pegasus creator maintains it only sells its spywares to governments.
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13 Dec 2019 9 Mins Read 3 comments
A woman uses her iPhone in front of the building housing the NSO Group in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, Israel. Getty Images
A woman uses her iPhone in front of the building housing the NSO Group in Herzliya, near Tel Aviv, Israel.
It’s playing out like a Hollywood whodunnit, full of snaking twists and turns in the unpredictable plot. So, who exactly hired the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group to snoop on Indians a few months ago? It’s far from clear yet, with all the protagonists pointing fingers at each other. The government is blaming WhatsApp. The social-media app on
word on Pegasus, as per Citizen Lab’s findings. Finally, should spyware technologies be used as tools even by the state on its own citizens, because democratic countries’ laws grant them the power? This is a question the digitally active civil society in India needs to deliberate, because spywares are here to stay. ( Graphics by Mohammad Arshad)
It’s playing out like a Hollywood whodunnit, full of snaking twists and turns in the unpredictable plot. So, who exactly hired the Israeli surveillance company NSO Group to snoop on Indians a few months ago? It’s far from clear yet, with all the protagonists pointing fingers at each other. The government is blaming WhatsApp. The social-media app on word on Pegasus, as per Citizen Lab’s findings. Finally, should spyware technologies be used as tools even by the state on its own citizens, because democratic countries’ laws grant them the power? This is a question the digitally active civil society in India needs to deliberate, because spywares are here to stay. ( Graphics by Mohammad Arshad)

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user sandhya Sharma Economic Times Prime, Editor-Technology Policy and foreign Affairs

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