New Delhi, October 31: Minister of State for Electronics and Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Tuesday said that the Centre expects iphone maker Apple to come clear on "threat warnings" sent to people in over 150 countries. This comes after the Centre ordered a probe to get to the bottom of alleged "threat notifications" sent by the iphone maker to mobiles of the Opposition MPs and leaders. He also said the government is "committed and duty-bound" to protect privacy of its citizens and it takes this responsibility "very seriously" and that it will investigate these "threat notifications" and also Apple's claims of being secure and privacy compliant devices.

In a post on X, Chandrsekhar said, "After today's 'threat notifications' being received by many people including MPs and those in geopolitics, we expect Apple to clarify the following -- if its devices are secure; why these ‘threat notifications’ are sent to people in over 150 countries; because Apple has repeatedly claimed their products are designed for privacy." The MoS for Electronics said, "Our government is committed and duty bound to protect privacy of our citizens and we take this responsibility very seriously. Government will investigate these threat notifications and also Apples claims of being secure and privacy compliant devices." 'State-Sponsored Attack' on iPhone in India: Apple Issued Advisory in 150 Countries, Governments Will Go To Bottom of It, Says IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw (Watch Video)

The remarks from Chandrasekhar came after Union Minister for Electronics and Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw came down heavily on the US phone maker Apple after several opposition MPs made allegations of state sponsored attack on their iPhones and said that much of information by the company on the issue seemed vague in nature and the government will investigate to get to the bottom of these notifications, and also asked it to join the probe. Vaishnaw said, "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 added. His remarks came soon after Apple, the iPhone maker in a statement clarified that "It does not attribute the threat notifications to any specific state-sponsored attacker". The iPhone maker said that "state-sponsored attackers are very well-funded and sophisticated, and their attacks evolve over time". 'State-Sponsored Attack' Warning on iPhone: Priyanka Chaturvedi Writes to PM Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Demands Probe Into Allege 'Targeting' of Her Mobile Phone

"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," it said. "We are unable to provide information about what causes us to issue threat notifications, as that may help state-sponsored attackers adapt their behavior to evade detection in the future,” it added. It further said that Apple has sent "threat notifications" to individuals whose accounts are in nearly 150 countries. The response from the US-based Apple came hours after several Opposition MPs and leaders claimed to have received a notification from Apple stating that their devices could be targetted by "state-sponsored attackers".

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 31, 2023 04:57 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website