The Indian Army’s advisory board has announced a ban on all the popular social media messaging applications, particularly Facebook and WhatsApp, for officers holding crucial posts and others who are vulnerable to hacks and leakage of confidential data.
The decision comes in light of the Pegasus-WhatsApp spying controversy which eruped last month. While the spying allegedly involves government involvement, it’s not yet known who is responsible for breaking into the phones of Indian social activists, lawyers and journalists.
WhatsApp was recently in the eye of a storm after it admitted that surveillance software called Pegasus — owned by an Israel-based NSO group — had been used to compromise some of its Indian users, including journalists and activists.
The advisory comes after the army cyber group conducted an analysis of social media trends in which it has identified a new set of problems on the ways its personnel use the internet.
The advisory states that the popular social media platform Facebook has turned out to be a crucial source of collecting intelligence, which is why officers holding critical posts in the army must consider deactivating their accounts.