Hyderabad lawyer among snooping victims

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on November 01, 2019

Balla Ravindranath, a civil rights advocate in Hyderabad, is one of the victims of Pegasus spyware, which infected about 1,400 civil rights activists, lawyers and journalists across the world.

The spyware, owned by an Israeli group, sneaked into the victims’ WhatsApp accounts and reportedly snooped on their correspondence and voice calls.

“I received a call on October 7 from a researcher of a Canadian research institute. Doubting the credentials of the unknown caller, I did not answer his calls,” the lawyer told Business Line.

Incidentally, the institute, Citizen Lab attached to the Munk School of University of Toronto, was the first entity to unravel the snooping activity on civil society activists. “But on October 29, I received an official message from WhatsApp, which indicated that my account may have been exposed to the intrusion,” he said.

He is among several lawyers and civil society activists that were snooped on through WhatsApp compromise in India too. Ravindranath works with civil rights groups in the two Telugu States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

He, however, doesn’t remember doing anything suspicious with any link or message in his WhatsApp account.

Published on November 01, 2019

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