NEW DELHI, Oct 31: After Indian political opposition Member of Parliament, some of them bitter critics of the BJP-government, took to X (formerly Twitter) to post warning messages they received and Apple confirmed having sent them, Telecom and IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the government “takes its role of protecting the privacy and security of all citizens very seriously and will investigate to get to the bottom of these notifications”.
Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar said the government wants Apple to clarify if its devices are secure and why ‘threat notifications’ were sent to people in over 150 countries, given the company’s repeated claims about its products being designed for privacy.
In a series of posts on the social media platform X, Vaishnaw said the information by Apple of its notification about ‘state-sponsored attacks’ “seems vague and non-specific in nature”.
“Apple states these notifications may be based on information, which is ‘incomplete or imperfect’. It also states that some Apple threat notifications may be false alarms or some attacks are not detected,” he said.
“Apple has also claimed that Apple IDs are securely encrypted on devices, making it extremely difficult to access or identify them without the user’s explicit permission. This encryption safeguards the user’s Apple ID and ensures that it remains private and protected.”
He said Apple has been asked to “join the investigation with real, accurate information on the alleged state-sponsored attacks”.
“It will be a very technical kind of investigation. This requires a technical domain. Therefore, a technically qualified agency like Cert-In, which has global collaboration with all the major experts of the world. They (Cert-In) will be investigating and will be taking help from all other law enforcement agencies as and when required,” the minister said in an official briefing in Bhopal.
Chandrasekhar said the government was committed and duty-bound to protect the privacy of citizens and takes this responsibility very seriously.
“Government will investigate these threat notifications and also Apple’s claims of being secure and privacy compliant devices,” he said, adding Apple is expected to clarify “if its devices are secure, (and) why these ‘threat notifications’ are sent to people in over 150 countries”.