Allegations of Hacking by Government Surfaced by Indian Opposition Leader

Rahul Gandhi Accuses Indian Government of Phone Hacking Attempt

Explore hacking allegations by Rahul Gandhi against the Indian government and unravel the mystery behind Apple’s warnings in this investigative controversy.

In a controversial revelation, Rahul Gandhi, the Indian opposition leader, lashed out on Tuesday, accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government of orchestrating hacking attempts on senior opposition politicians’ mobile phones. 

This allegation follows the politicians’ receipt of ominous warning messages from Apple.

Warnings from Apple

Several lawmakers took to social media, sharing screenshots of notifications from Apple, which stated: 

Apple believes you are being targeted by state-sponsored attackers trying to compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID remotely.” 

Gandhi, in a pointed message to Modi during a news conference in New Delhi, asserted, “Hack us all you want, but we (the opposition) will not stop questioning you.”

Government Responds with Investigation

In the wake of these serious allegations, Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw expressed his concerns, confirming that the government has beckoned Apple to participate in a collaborative investigation into these unsettling claims. 

Apple, while addressing the issue, subtly suggested the uncertainty of identifying the actual source of these attacks, clarifying that they have not pinpointed the warnings to “any specific state-sponsored attacker.”

Uncertainty and Previous Controversies

Apple further elucidated that state-sponsored attacks are intricate and continuously evolving. 

The detection of such attacks is challenging, reliant on “threat intelligence signals that are often imperfect and incomplete,” leading to the possibility of false alarms or undetected attacks.

In response to Apple’s clarification, Jairam Ramesh, a spokesperson for Gandhi’s Congress party, criticized it as a “long-winded non-denial” of an evident security breach.

Reminiscent of past controversies, in 2021, India was embroiled in a scandal following reports alleging the government’s usage of Israeli-made Pegasus spyware to conduct surveillance on numerous journalists, activists, and politicians, including Gandhi himself. 

The government has remained non-committal, refraining from answering inquiries regarding India’s or any state agency’s procurement of Pegasus spyware for surveillance objectives.

In light of past incidents, these fresh allegations have reignited concerns and discussions regarding privacy and the surveillance state. 

The unfolding investigations and future revelations are keenly awaited to illuminate the opacity surrounding this controversy.

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