Congress party leader Shashi Tharoor
Congress party leader Shashi Tharoor

The IT Parliamentary panel will meet on Wednesday to examine the WhatsApp snooping, in which the 31 members would seek details from top government officials on the steps the centre is taking to prevent such incidents.

According to NDTV, the panel is headed by Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor. Tharoor is learnt to have told the panel members that alleged use of technology for snooping on Indian citizens was a matter of "grave concern" and it would be discussed at length at the committee's next meeting on November 20. "Representatives of Ministry of Electronics, Home Affairs and Atomic Energy would brief the standing committee on Citizens data security and privacy issues," a senior functionary in the government told NDTV.

WhatsApp has already said it was suing NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance firm, which is behind the technology that helped unnamed entities hack into phones of roughly 1,400 users. Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has asked WhatsApp for a report on the allegations. Facebook-owned WhatsApp on October 31 said that Indian journalists and human rights activists were among those globally snooped upon by unnamed entities using an Israeli spyware, Pegasus. WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion users globally, of which India accounts for about 400 million.

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