New Delhi, Nov 20: WhatsApp has written to the government expressing "regret" over the Pegasus snooping row, and has assured that it is taking all security measures to address concerns, top government sources said.
The sources, who requested not to be named, said the government has asked WhatsApp to reinforce its security wall, and that no more breaches at the messaging platform will be tolerated.
Last month, the Facebook-owned company had showed that Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally spied upon by unnamed entities using Pegasus spyware.
According to WhatsApp, the spyware was developed by Israel-based NSO Group and had been used to snoop on about 1,400 users globally, including 121 users from India.
Following the government's notice seeking more information on the attacks, WhatsApp had responded saying it had alerted the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) in September that 121 Indian users had been targeted by Pegasus.
A WhatsApp spokesperson, in an e-mailed statement, said the company is deeply committed to protecting the privacy of its users in India "by providing industry-leading security for all messages and calls and by staying ahead of advanced threats to user security".
WhatsApp has over 400 million users in India.
"The government also plays a critical role here and we are committed to continuing to engage them in a timely manner on sensitive issues related to user privacy and security. We regret that we have not met the government's expectations for proactive engagement on these issues and will strive to do better," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson also noted that the company will work with the government to "address their appropriate concerns".
In response to a question in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Cybersecurity agency CERT-In has issued a notice to WhatsApp seeking details on targeting of mobile phones of Indian citizens by Israeli spyware Pegasus.
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Dubai: Putting up a stout defence, iconic Sunil Gavaskar on Friday said neither he blamed Virat Kohli's actor-wife Anushka Sharma for India captain's failure nor he made any sexist remarks during an IPL match and his comments were being misinterpreted.
Kohli had a bad day in office on Thursday when he led Royal Challengers Bangalore against Kings XI Punjab. He dropped two catches of rival skipper KL Rahul and managed only a run off five balls in RCB's chase.
While Kohli was still at crease, Gavaskar said India captain is keen to improve and he knows that he can do so only by practicing more and more. He then added that during the lockdown Kohli faced only Anushka's bowling and it is showing that it did not help much.
Gavaskar was speaking in Hindi when he made the comment.
However, the comment did not go down well with Kohli and Anushka's fans and some even demanded his sacking from Star Sports commentary panel, lashing out at him on social media.
Reacting to it, Anushka also issued a statement on her Instagram page and said that Gavaskar's message was "distasteful".
Gavaskar though said his comments were not understood in right context.
The remark according to Gavaskar was in reference to a video clip where Kohli and Anushka were seen enjoying some tennis ball cricket in their compound.
"Firstly, I would like to say, where am I blaming her, I'm not blaming her. I am only saying that the video showed she was bowling to Virat. Virat has only played that much bowling in this lockdown period," Gavaskar told India Today channel.
"It is tennis ball fun game that people have to pass time during the lockdown, so that's all, so where am I blaming her for Virat's failures."
Gavaskar also rubbished allegations on social media that he made a "sexist comment".
"I'm the one who has always batted for wives going with husbands on tours. I am the one who has always said that like a normal guy going to office for a 9-5 job, when he comes back home, he comes back to his wife, similarly why can't cricketers have their wives with them," Gavaskar said.
He also tried to explain his comment.
"As you can hear from the commentary, Aakash was talking about the fact there has been very little chance for any proper practice in the lockdown, for everybody...
"That has actually shown in rustiness of some of the players in their first matches. Rohit (Sharma) didn't strike the ball well, now in the second match he has got runs, MSD (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) didn't strike the ball well in the first match."
He then also explained what exactly he said.
"Anushka was bowling to him, so that's what I said, that's the only bowling, I have not used any other word. She was bowling to him, that's all, where am I blaming her, where I am being sexist in this."
"I'm just only stating what was seen on the video which was maybe recorded by somebody in the neighbouring buildings and put up and that's the only thing I'm doing, but the point I'm making trying to make is that there was no practice for anybody including Virat in the lockdown.
"I have not been sexist, if somebody has interpreted it, what can I do," Gavaskar said.