It is unbelievable that TRAI could release more than 1 million email addresses of public on the Internet. But that is exactly what it has done and we are still trying to understand if it was an honest mistake or an intentional hit back at the activists.
There was nothing wrong in TRAI making the comments public. But was it necessary to release the unmasked email addresses? Or was TRAI not aware of such a practice?
Even assuming that the chair person of TRAI did not know and made an administrative decision “Let’s put all responses in public” his subordinates who handle IT must have known that harvesting of email addresses is a common practice by spammers in India.
If the IT people in TRAI decided to release the unmasked email addresses, then either they were too lazy to mask the email addresses or more likely wanted to extend the controversy into another domain by teaching the activists who poured 1 million emails on their network a lesson in free speech.
It was not long ago that two other wise men at the Supreme Court had removed Section 66A of ITA 2008 which sought to curb spamming to grab headlines and proclaim that India is a free country and here spammming is “Free Speech”.
I wonder if it was NIC which handled the publishing of comments or one of the OTT service providers.
This is a fit case for a demand for the Chairman of TRAI to resign.
What will our new champion of net neutrality, Mr Rahul Gandhi say on this privacy breach?