Apple threat alerts received by Armenian journalist imply wider global issue

The New Indian
Oct 31 2023


NEW DELHI: As Opposition MPs from different parties on Tuesday shared screenshots of alerts from iPhone maker Apple to posit claims of snooping by the Centre, additional information is surfacing from around the globe hinting at a bigger phenomenon all around.

Artur Papyan, a digital security and media consultant and the director of the Media Diversity Institute in Armenia, took to microblogging site, X, and shared screenshots of Apple issuing a new round of threat notifications about State Sponsored attacks on Armenia-based journalists.

He tweeted, “Apple has issued a new round of threat notifications about State Sponsored attacks. If you’re an Armenia-based journalist or a civil society representative, contact me, @Kornelij or @RubenMuradyan to get your device checked, as well as urgent advice and support.”

This comes just a few hours after opposition leaders like AAP MP Raghav Chadha, TMC MP Mahua Moitra, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav shared their concerns about such similar notification received from Apple to buttress claims of spying by the Indian government.

Additionally, Samir Saran, the President of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), expressed similar apprehensions by sharing the screenshots. Despite its origins with the Dhirubhai Ambani family, ORF asserts its independence in operations. The foundation has asserted that its financial resources come from various quarters, including the Reliance Group, government, foreign foundations, and other sources. It remains uncertain whether any competitive interests between the Adani and Ambani Groups are connected to the alleged breach of Saran’s iPhone.

The allegations arising from Armenia suggest a different scenario, which extends beyond mere allegations of the Indian government spying on opposition leaders.

READ MORE: Apple breach: Ex-UP CM Akhilesh, Raghav, ORF boss & Mahua claim state-sponsored attack

Artur, who shared the screenshot on X, has worked as a journalist and a multimedia editor with RFE/RL’s Armenian Service for more than a decade. In 2018, he co-founded and worked as the CEO of “Azatutyun TV” internet channel. Artur, in recent years, has taught online media, internet journalism, and professional ethics at several universities, including the Yerevan State University.