Weekend reads: In-depth pieces on WhatsApp spyware scandal and more

Weekend reads: In-depth pieces on WhatsApp spyware scandal and more
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Here are must-read stories on the recent WhatsApp 'snoopgate' and more:

1. WhatsApp spyware scandal is a chance to fix our snooping law, writes Apar Gupta in The Times of India

From the piece:

"The existing safeguards need drastic reform for a much more obvious reason. Crafted for an age of analog and wired phone lines, they do not account for the constant floods of personal data over our smartphones. It is for this very reason that earlier this year when several intelligence and law enforcement agencies were authorised to conduct electronic surveillance there was a massive public uproar."

2. India turns to WhatsApp for answers, but what should we really be asking? Anju Srivas writes in The Wire.

From the story:

"While the home ministry says reports have attempted to malign the Centre, we need to know who wanted to snoop on Indian targets and how successful they were."

3. How many people have been targeted by the Pegasus hack? asks a piece in Scroll.in

From the story: "WhatsApp has said that 1,400 were targeted, while reports in India have suggested anything from 25-40. But we don’t really know."

4. Pegasus scandal highlights India's self-destructive lack of oversight over its intelligence services, writes Praveen Swami in Firstpost

From the piece:

"The story, though, is more complex than it might seem, though — and holds out questions about intelligence oversight and reform that India’s politicians have long ducked, corroding both the integrity of the covert services and the country itself."

Weekend reads: In-depth pieces on WhatsApp spyware scandal and more
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5. What sets BJP apart is its endorsement of exclusion. From the government’s point of view, all initiatives show Muslims their place and Hindus their pre-eminence, writes Mukul Kesavan in The Telegraph

From the story: "The Bharatiya Janata Party’s contribution to policy-making can be divided into three parts: continuity, spectacle and communalized change." 

6. As smog-filled Delhi hosts the Twenty20 match, Cricinfo's Sidharath Monga explores an interesting topic - Cricket in the time of pulmonary disintegration.

Weekend reads: In-depth pieces on WhatsApp spyware scandal and more
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From the story: "Imagine if India had a venue where they could have a series-starter to demoralise the opposition. To literally choke them. Of course, Bangladesh are doing it to themselves what with strikes and unreported bookie approaches, but just like the day-night Test, this is the perfect opposition to try it out against. Imagine if Bangladesh are struggling, how will those sides used to breathing clean air cope? Roll out the Killer Kotla already as India's response to the Gabbatoir."

7. The wrong goodbye: A wrenching decision to end life support, and the unthinkable mistake that devastated not one but two families. Joe Sexton and Nate Schweber write in ProPublica.

From the story:

"Shortly before midnight on July 13, 2018, police and hospital records show, the victim of a suspected drug overdose had arrived by ambulance at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx. Officers responding to a 911 call had found the man on the ground at the corner of East 174th Street and Bryant Avenue. CPR administered by the officers had managed to produce a pulse. A breathing tube had been inserted on the way to the hospital. The man was identified as Frederick Williams, born Feb. 18, 1978, police records show. The hospital looked up the name. Williams had been a patient at the hospital before. His files listed an emergency contact."

8. “Why should men have all the power all the time?” South India's leading actor Nayantara asks Nandini Ramnath in her first significant interview in a decade in The Vogue

Weekend reads: In-depth pieces on WhatsApp spyware scandal and more
South Indian actress Nayanthara

From the story:

"She could explain herself in an interview, of course, but she doesn’t do those—not very often, at any rate. “This is probably my first interview in 10 years,” Nayanthara tells me. “I don’t want the world to know what I am thinking. I am a very private person. I’m not very good with crowds.” She also has a grouse against the media, who often pluck words out of context to sensationalise. “I’ve been misquoted and misinterpreted a lot of times,” she clarifies. “It was too much for me to handle. My job is to act. The films should speak for themselves.”

9. I accidentally uncovered a nationwide scam on Airbnb, writes Allie Conti in Vice 

Weekend reads: In-depth pieces on WhatsApp spyware scandal and more
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From the story:

"While searching for the person who grifted me in Chicago, I discovered just how easy it is for users of the short-term rental platform to get exploited."

10. 200 years ago, most Indians had no clear idea of much of their own ‘glory'. And the spade of the British archaeologist unravelled what Brahmanical civilization had chosen to forget, opines Jawhar Sircar in The Telegraph.

From the story:

"But what may surprise many is that exactly 200 years ago, most Indians had no clear idea of much of their own ‘glory’. The spade of the British archaeologist unravelled what Brahmanical civilization had chosen to forget. In 1819, a British army captain chasing a deer stumbled into the Ajanta caves. But we had to wait till 1897 to get a proper glimpse of its unique art and sculpture."

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