Amid the ongoing tussle between the Centre and some opposition leaders on claims of ‘phone hacking’, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology said it was mulling summoning Apple in an upcoming meeting to address the issue of ‘state-sponsored attacks’ on the iPhones of the leaders, adding that it was treating the issue with utmost seriousness and expressed deep concern, an official of the committee said as quoted by news agency ANI.
“The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) is contemplating the summoning of Apple representatives during an upcoming meeting to address the recent ‘state-sponsored attacks’ on several public figures in India. The committee’s secretariat has expressed ‘deep concern’ and is treating the matter with the ‘utmost seriousness’,” the report by the news agency quoted the official as saying.
On Tuesday, several opposition leaders, including Mahua Moitra of TMC, Uddhav camp Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, AAP leader Raghav Chadha among others claimed that they received alerts on their iPhones warning them of “state-sponsored attackers trying to remotely compromise” their devices.
While the Opposition levelled snooping allegations on the Centre, Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw addressed a press conference and dismissed the charges and ordered a probe to get to the bottom of the issue.
“The government is concerned over the issue. We have already ordered an investigation and will get to the root of the issue. I would also like to add that there are some compulsive critics in the country who have a habit of criticising (the government) over every issue. They do not want the country’s development,” he said.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi also attacked the government saying, “We are not scared. You can do as much (phone) tapping as you want, I don’t care. If you want to take my phone, I will give it to you.”
“The hierarchy in the country is: No. 1 – Adani, No. 2 Prime Minister Narendra Modi and No. 3 Amit Shah… Narendra Modi’s soul is with Adani. The truth is that power is in the hands of someone else. As soon as Adani is touched, intelligence agencies snooping are deployed,” he said.
The Apple notification shared by the MPs stated, “ALERT: State-sponsored attackers may be targeting your iPhone”.
“Apple believes you are being targeted by state-sponsored attackers trying to remotely compromise the iPhone associated with your Apple ID. These attackers are likely targeting you individually because of who you are or what you do. If your device is compromised by a state-sponsored attacker, they may be able to remotely access your sensitive data, communications, or even the camera and microphone. While it’s possible this is a false alarm, please take this warning seriously,” it stated.