Similar to Pakistan, where phone tapping is a significant concern, India’s cybersecurity unit is now investigating claims by opposition politicians about potential unauthorized phone surveillance.
These allegations arose after several individuals reported receiving alerts on their Apple iPhones about potential intrusions from “state-sponsored attackers”.
India’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) is leading the investigation into these complaints, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. Highlighting the seriousness of the matter, S Krishnan, secretary for the electronics and information ministry, confirmed, “Apple will cooperate in this probe.”
Government Responds to Tapping Allegations
Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister of Information and Technology, conveyed the government’s concerns about the reports earlier this week. He emphasized, “The government of Bharat (India) is deeply committed to safeguarding the privacy and security of all its citizens. We will conduct a thorough investigation to address these notifications.”
Several notable opposition figures, including Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor, Mahua Moitra, and Priyanka Chaturvedi, have stepped forward, claiming to have received the iPhone warning message. Undeterred, Gandhi commented, “The government may do as much phone tapping as it wants, I am not bothered. They can even take my phone; I remain unafraid.”
Recall that in 2021, the Indian government faced allegations of utilizing the controversial Pegasus spyware technology to monitor political adversaries, activists, and media personnel, though the authorities refuted these claims.
While Apple has remained silent on the current situation, its official website does explain such notifications. These alerts, as per the tech giant, are “intended to guide and inform users potentially targeted by state-sponsored attackers.”