Hacking: RSS leader Govindacharya approaches Supreme Court, demands case against WhatsApp & Facebook
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue K.N. Govindacharya has approached the Supreme Court with a petition against WhatsApp and Facebook and demanded an investigation by the NIA into the snooping.
The Facebook-owned messaging platform recently revealed that more than 1,400 of its users worldwide were targeted by the spyware Pegasus, made by an Isreali firm called the NSO Group. Many were rights activists, lawyers and journalists, several of them in India. It has been reported that as many as 121 Indians might have become targets of the hacking.
Govindacharya wants FIRs registered against Facebook, WhatsApp and the NSO Group, and perjury proceedings against WhatsApp for deliberately misleading the court by claiming that user data is fully encrypted.
Govindacharya in the 1990s was one of the prominent faces of the Ram temple movement in the RSS, the ideological parent of the BJP.
In 2009, the Justice Liberhan commission report tabled in Parliament mentioned Govindacharya among 68 people who were held “culpable for pushing India to communal discord”.
Govindacharya, however, had a falling out with the BJP. He was forced out of the party after he called Atal Bihari Vajpayee “BJP’s mukhota (mask)” while Advani called the shots.
After Govindacharya approached he top court, some lawyers took to Twitter to express what they found wrong with the petition.
Lawyer Gautam Bhatia pointed out: "As we were informed when the scandal broke, the software is only sold to government or government affiliates. Going to the Supreme Court and asking the government to investigate itself through an agency under the Home Ministry (NIA) does not help anyone."
He added: "And lastly, this is a case that is just asking for the government to come to court and shout "national security" + "sealed cover", as they have been known to do at the drop of a hat. Once you go on that merry-go round, what follows - multiple adjournments, long dates, and + daily fights not over the merits of the case, but on what can and cannot be in sealed covers, what can and cannot be argued, etc."