ANI Photo | Parliamentary panel on IT may discuss ‘Apple warning’ issue in next meeting

Members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology (IT) are likely to raise the ‘Apple warning’ issue in the next meeting of the panel.
A political row has erupted over the issue with the opposition members seeking a probe and the government too expressing its desire to get to the bottom of the matter.
Congress MP Karti Chidambaram, a member of the panel, said he will raise the issue in the next meeting of the panel.
“This is a matter of grave concern. We will seek a discussion,” Karti Chidambaram told ANI.
Sources said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on IT is contemplating the summoning of Apple representatives over its alert to some members of the opposition that they are “being targeted by state-sponsored attackers”.
The committee’s secretariat is treating the matter with the utmost seriousness, sources said.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Communications and Information Technology has 31 members and Shiv Sena MP Prataprao Jadhav heads it.
The committee has not yet decided the date for its next meeting.
Some opposition leaders received an alert from the US multinational company Apple about some attackers “trying to remotely compromise” the device being used by them.
KC Venugopal, Shashi Tharoor, Pawan Khera, Sitaram Yechury, Akhilesh Yadav, and Priyanka Chaturvedi and “people in Rahul Gandhi’s office” were among those who received alerts from Apple.
Rahul Gandhi, who addressed a press conference on Tuesday, accused the government of trying to divert the attention of people.
Apple later said that it does not attribute the threat notifications to any specific state-sponsored attacker.
“State-sponsored attackers are very well-funded and sophisticated, and their attacks evolve over time. Detecting such attacks relies on threat intelligence signals that are often imperfect and incomplete. It’s possible that some Apple threat notifications may be false alarms, or that some attacks are not detected,” the company said in a statement.
The tech giant further said that they are unable to provide information about what causes them to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behaviour to evade detection in the future.
The government has asked Apple to join investigations.
In a series of posts on X, Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, said the government is concerned by the statements we have seen in media from some MPs as well as others about a notification received by them from Apple.
“The notification received by them as per media reports mentions about ‘state-sponsored attacks’ on their devices. However much of information by Apple on this issue seems vague and non-specific in nature. Apple states these notifications maybe based on information which is ‘incomplete or imperfect’. It also states that some Apple threat notifications maybe false alarms or some attacks are not detected,” he said.
The minister 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. The Government of Bharat 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. In light of such information and widespread speculation, we have also asked Apple to join the investigation with real, accurate information on the alleged state sponsored attacks,” he said.
Venugopal hit back at Vaishnaw and said the government has not said it is not using spyware against opposition members.
“Mr. @AshwiniVaishnaw, your bluff and bluster is not fooling anybody. Instead of sermonising the opposition about it’s role, your government must come clean.
In your entire address, just like in 2021, you did not deny using spyware on opposition leaders. Your reluctance to issue a categorical denial itself shows you have a lot to hide in this matter. Your call to Apple to join an investigation is even more laughable. How can the criminal himself be the prosecutor?” Venugopal said on X.
Yechury wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the Apple alert and said any such attack “constitutes a gross violation of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India to all its citizens”.
“A surveillance state is the antithesis of democracy,” he said

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