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Submit phone, cooperate in investigation: Vaishnaw to Opposition on iPhone 'attack' issue

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Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw speaks in the Lok Sabha during the Budget session of Parliament, in New Delhi

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw during the Budget session of Parliament, in New Delhi

New Delhi: Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Friday asked the Opposition to submit their phones and cooperate in investigation to find the truth over Apple allegedly sending a message to them about "state-sponsored hackers" trying to attack their iPhones.

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Replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology Vaishnaw asserted that only making allegations will not work and there must be cooperation with the law enforcement agencies.

He was responding to Priyanka Chaturvedi (Shiv Sena UBT) who said that on October 30 last year, she along with other Opposition MPs had received an SMS and email from Apple with a message that said "state-sponsored attackers may be attacking your iPhone".

"In relation to that, I had written a letter to the minister on the same day on the issue. It has been nearly four months, but there has been no reply," Chaturvedi said.

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Responding to her, Vaishnaw said if anyone feels that there is a problem in their phone, India has a very robust institutional mechanism through CERT-In, which is a highly technical organisation, absolutely purely technical organisation for technical examination.

"You please give your phone. I have said openly, in public through a press conference that if any honourable member or any honourable citizen of the country has any issue related to any hacking of their phone or something, kindly submit your phone, kindly share that information, kindly share the details, we will get it technically examined," the minister said.

"It can't be that only allegations are made. If allegations are made, then you have to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies, the structure and the system. One way doesn't work," he further said.

Turning to Chaturvedi, Vaishnaw said, "If anyone is making an allegation against the Indian government, then it is her responsibility as a citizen of this country and as a member of this House to absolutely cooperate in the investigation so that the truth should come out." The minister reiterated that he has requested the same through a press conference and in the Upper House itself when the Post Office Bill was discussed.

"..and if the honourable member stands there just to make allegations, that is not the way a member should be behaving," he said.

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