Wednesday, July 24, 2024

BJP claims George Soros-funded ‘Access Now’ behind Apple alerts on Oppn leaders’ phones

Giving a new twist to the Opposition leaders’ allegations of “state-sponsored” hacking bid alerts by Apple, the BJP on Wednesday claimed that George Soros-funded ‘Access Now’ was behind the notifications.

In a series of posts on X, BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya said, “Interesting thread that draws link between George Soros-funded ‘Access Now’ and Apple notifications, supposedly received only by Opposition leaders. It is therefore no surprise that Rahul Gandhi dropped everything and rushed to hold a press conference. See the sinister plot here?”

He posted, “Part-2 of the thread details out the network George Soros-funded ‘Access Now’ has built in India. Notification received (from Apple) by the usual suspects in Opposition ranks also refers to ‘Access Now.’ Only if you believe in fairy tales, would you think it is all a coincidence…”

Malviya highlighted the posts of a user named The Story Teller to back his claims.

His remarks came a day after a major row erupted on Tuesday after several Opposition MPs and leaders said they received a notification from Apple stating that there was an attempt to compromise their devices by “state-sponsored attackers.”

Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi led the charge from the front to target the BJP Government at the Centre and said that many of his office members, party leaders, Opposition leaders had received alerts on alleged attempts to hack their Apple devices.

He also said that this bid to hack the phones of political leaders was the “act of criminals and thieves and not of an honest person, but we are not scared”.

Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters here, Rahul Gandhi said, “Distraction politics is being done. The entire Opposition got alerts from Apple. All people in my office have got this message. Venugopal has got it. Supriya Shrinate, Pawan Khera, TS Singh Deo, all of them have got the alert mail.”

He also showed a copy of the mail received by several Opposition leaders from their phone manufacturer about “state-sponsored attackers trying to compromise their phone”.

“Very few people are fighting against this but we are not scared. You can do as much (phone) tapping as you want, I don’t care. If you want to take my phone, I will give it to you,” the Congress leader said.

To a question by IANS, on the strategy of the party as phones of leaders were being targeted again after the first attack using Pegasus spyware, he said, “In the last Pegasus enquiry, my name was also there. That disappeared. That tells you the situation of the country.”

He said, “Our job as an Opposition is to make people understand. I am very happy that more and more people are beginning to understanding what is going on. This is clearly a sign of panic, this is not just one person this is the whole Opposition. This is obviously not done by someone who is honest. This is the work of thieves and criminals. Only thieves and criminals will do this,” he said.

He also said that for the future of India what is necessary is justice. “If the people don’t get justice then it won’t progress. Will always say that without caste census the people of country won’t get justice,” he said, reiterating his demand for the caste-based census across the country.

Several Opposition leaders, including Trinamool Congress’ Moitra, Congress leader Pawan Khera, Supriya Shrinate, Alka Lamba, KC Venugopal, Shiv Sena UBT leader Priyanka Chaturvedi, CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday alleged that their mobile phones are being targeted by the Centre.

Meanwhile, the government has ordered an investigation and also asked Apple to join the probe.

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