A full blown political war erupted after official Twitter accounts of Indian National Congress and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi were hacked. Apart from accusing Narendra Modi government and BJP of being behind the act, Congress has taken internal action. According to a report, over 200 Congress leaders’ accounts were suspended. Leaders were also asked not to use them for a few days. Congress dubbed as “predetermined conspiracy” and systematic attack on free speech and right to disagree the hacking of its Twitter account and of Rahul Gandhi and raised questions on the safety of the entire digital payment network as also of privacy. “Every right thinking Indian is shocked by such despotic and vulgar attempts, which reflect the extremities of a growing intolerant culture around us that resorts to abuse and insult every time it lacks answers to the questioned raised by those who disagree with their point of view,” Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in a statement. He said, “It is a systematic attack on free speech and right to disagree in our country.” He also tweeted saying “24 hours after hacking of @OfficeOfRG&@INCIndia,Twitter accounts of other Congress leaders being targeted with impunity as Modi Govt looks on.”
Noting that time has come for the government to ponder over susceptibility of entire digital financial platforms, the Congress leader raised questions over the safety and security of all electronic transactions and digital financial data. “Time has come for Modi government, which speaks of cashless economy, to ponder over these important imponderables that have exposed the susceptibility of the entire digital financial platforms. We sincerely hope that Modi government will provide the relevant answers to people of India,” he said.
— News18 (@CNNnews18) December 1, 2016
Surjewala also asked if conversational platforms like Twitter can be hacked so “unabashedly” by hackers, what is the safety of entire digital payment network? “Does it not prove the inherent cyber security risks that exist for all electronic transactions and payment gateways?” he wondered. The Congress leader said within seconds, an entire “licenced army of trolls retweeted and reposted the hateful and reprehensible comments and statements of the hackers indicating that they were acting in concert and collusion in pursuance of a predetermined conspiracy”.
He said the “brazen hacking attempts” also raise serious questions on the digital safety and privacy of millions of Indians using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, as not only conversational platforms but also for exchange of ideas and dissemination of information. “Congress has always dealt with such hatred and animosity with Gandhian compassion and tolerance. Truth is that totalitarian and authoritarian ideas are an anathema to India’s inclusive democracy,” he said.