He added that the government was yet to receive the names of people targeted by unnamed entities using Pegasus spyware.
The Minister said the government had issued notice to Israeli technology firm NSO Group, which created Pegasus, on November 26, seeking details about the malware and its impact.
He also said that digital players must erect appropriate security walls or be ready to face action.
Congress MP Digvijay Singh asked the Minister on the use of the spyware against some Indians.
The Minister said: “During the high level engagements like meeting of CEO Will Cathcart and VP Policy Nick Clegg of WhatsApp that took place with the ministry on July 26, 2019 and September 11, 2019, no mention was made by the high level WhatsApp team regarding this vulnerability.”
He said that CERT -IN (Computer Emergency Response Team) on September 9 sought submissions from WhatsApp, including a need to conduct an audit and inspection of WhatsApp security system and process. “The response from WhatsApp was received on November 18, 2019 and further clarification and technical details have been sought on November 26, 2019. CERT-IN has also sent a notice to NSO Group on November 26, 2019 seeking details about the malware and its impact on Indian users.”
He added that the government is committed to ensuring the safety and security of online platforms such as WhatsApp and that the government is working to strengthen the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules 2011.