Naavi.org has often referred to individual security professionals losing their sense of proportion and turning into hacktivists and degenerating into black hat hackers. While they often have a justification for their actions, “taking law into own hands” is not considered the right thing. This tendency has been referred to as “Technology Intoxication”.
Now we see organizations like Twitter being bitten by this bug which makes them feel that they are above law. First Twitter showed its arrogance by deleting the account of Mr Trump without a Court order. Irrespective of what Trump’s tweet meant, Twitter had no right to stand in judicial shoes to remove the account. It ought to have moved on its own the relevant Court and sought directions to take action. In the meantime they could have tagged the subject tweet as “Disputed” or “Unverified” etc and ensured that no person would take it as an authenticated news. But they went ahead and removed Mr Trump’s account and faced an exodus of Trump supporters.
Now in the case of India , Twitter has again shown its arrogance in a different way. Here the Government of India as per the law in force in the country had requested for ban on certain accounts which were blatantly inciting anarchy in India. This was a call for a war in a democratic country and deserves to be treated as such.
It appears that the celebrity twitter accounts are actually maintained by PR firms and the recent anti India propaganda has been launched by these PR firms. Twitter must be aware that these are proxy accounts and the messages are being sent by persons other than the projected twitter handle owners. Twitter is known to have an anti India bias and they provide “Verified” tags according to their own rules. Hence even when they indicate an account as “Verified”, it is not reliable.
While responding to the Indian situation, Twitter has taken a stand to retain the accounts which are dishing out false and provocative tweets and rejected the Government of India’s request despite its legitimacy as per law. This is plain and simple revolt against law and inconsistent with their stand in the Trump case.
Twitter may think that it has the fan following to indulge in such arbitrary actions and challenge the Indian Government, but this is more than a show of any ideological stand.
If Twitter does not agree with the Government order and wants to disobey, the only option available to it was to approach the Supreme Court for a stay on the Government’s order.
This they have failed to do and now it is time for the Government of India to take appropriate action.
The first action that the Government has to take is to block Twitter from the whole of India. Let Twitter go to the Court and seek a remedy.
The second action is for all Government department and executives including Mr Narendra Modi and PMO to shift to an Indian competitor such as “Tooter”. Tooter may presently find it difficult to take up a high level of traffic and a consortium of Indian IT companies particularly companies like Zoho should support Tooter to stabilize its services.
Next, it is time for all Twitter advertisers from India to withdraw their advertisement support.
If these actions are taken tonight, Twitter will realize that its actions were not prudent either from the legal view point or business viewpoint.
I look forward to a firm and decisive action from the Government of India.