MPs for joint house panel on Israeli spyware Pegasus

The committee, which met on Wednesday, discussed issues such as the breach that affected some Indians and the cyberattack on the nuclear plant in Kudankulam.

Reuters

The government said it was putting up its best efforts to protect the privacy of people and would do more.

New Delhi: Some members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology have asked its Chairman to consider a joint parliamentary panel to look into the alleged breach of user privacy through WhatsApp by Israeli spyware Pegasus.

The committee, which met on Wednesday, discussed issues such as the breach that affected some Indians and the cyber attack on the nuclear plant in Kudankulam. The government said it was putting up its best efforts to protect the privacy of people and would do more. It also told the committee, which has over 30 members and is headed by Shashi Tharoor, that the Personal Data Protection Bill was on the anvil and that it would take care of the larger data security issues.

A source said the government was sidestepping on the issue of whether it had any role in WhatsApp hacking, and so the opposition parties were planning to raise the issues in Parliament. “Although this was not brought up in the meeting today, two-three MPs told the chairman that there needs to be a joint parliamentary committee to investigate the issue,” the person said.


The person said the cyberattack on the nuclear power plant was discussed and it was said that since the Department of Atomic Energy was under the Prime Minister's Office, it should be outside the purview of the committee. “But then it was argued that since taxpayer's money is being used to provide monetary assistance to them, they should be answerable to the committee and the committee has got the right to seek answers,” the person said.
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