Rajya Sabha

November 28, 2019

MD Nadimul Haque speaks during a Calling Attention Motion on Pegasus spyware

MD Nadimul Haque speaks during a Calling Attention Motion on Pegasus spyware


Thank you, Sir.

Koi aseb hai, saya hai ya jadogar hai, jane kya baat hai ke har shaqs ke dil main daar hai 

I would like to draw the attention of the Hon’ble Minister to the following issues:

(I) It has been claimed that WhatsApp informed officials at the Indian Computer Emergency Response team (CERT-In) back in May about vulnerabilities in its software.

However, recent reports have revealed that the team at CERT-In apparently published a vulnerability note on May 17, 2019 three days before WhatsApp approached them. The severity rating of the breach was ‘high’ according to the note, which has since been taken down.

Why did the government fail to act on this urgent note by the team at CERT-In?

Also, why has this note been since taken down?

Furthermore, the note apparently included links to articles which mention 

For the record of the House, will the Minister state the exact date on which the government was made aware about the vulnerability of WhatsApp that could be exploited through the use of Pegasus or any other spyware?

Has the government launched an investigation to find out who could have bought a spyware meant only for governmental agencies to spy on Indian citizens?

In its reply to a question raised in the Lok Sabha on 19th November, the Ministry emphasized certain points:-

‘Centre is lawfully empowered to “intercept, monitor and decrypt” any digital information and digital message as per provisions of the Information Technology Act and Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 respectively, on occurrence of public emergency or in the interest of public safety.

Any interception or monitoring or decryption can be done only by authorized agencies as per due process of law.’ 

Did the Government in any way permit the interception, monitoring or decryption of data through the use of Pegasus spyware?

Sir, ek sher hain. Kaisa ajab shor hai basti mein aaj kal, har ghar se aa rahi hai sada ‘jagte raho’

Thank you very much, Sir.