See More on Facebook

Politics

India’s two main parties spar over data breach

Congress Party accuses Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official app of leaking data.


Written by

Updated: March 27, 2018

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the country’s main opposition party Congress are both alleging each other of leaking data to a third party without consent.

Following reports of last week’s data leak scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has alleged that the NaMo mobile app – short for Na(rendra) Mo(di) – was leaking data to a US company.

Google Play describes the NaMo app, launched in 2015, as the “official app of the Prime Minister of India”.

In another tweet, Gandhi called Modi, who has 41.4 million followers on Twitter, “the Big Boss who likes to spy on Indians”.

“Hi! My name is Narendra Modi. I am India’s Prime Minister. When you sign up for my official App, I give all your data to my friends in American companies. PS. Thanks mainstream media, you’re doing a great job of burying this critical story, as always,” Gandhi tweeted.

Gandhi started the social media war following a security researcher’s tweets that the NaMo app was sending personal user data to a third-party domain that was traced to a US company.

Gandhi also claimed that the NaMo app tracked locations of users. “Now he wants data on our children.” Gandhi tweeted.

The BJP was quick to counter the allegations. The BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malviya posted on Twitter: “Congress shares app users’ data with friends in Singapore.”

“Hi! my name is Rahul Gandhi. I am the President of India’s oldest political party. When you signup for our official App, I give all your data to my friends in Singapore,” Malviya tweeted.

In subsequent tweets, he cited bits from the Congress website’s privacy policy.

Last week India’s Law and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said there were reports of the Congress Party’s links with Cambridge Analytica. The BJP accused the Congress of compromising national security by roping in the London-based political data analytics firm to run its 2019 elections.

Meanwhile, the Congress’ official mobile app – ‘With INC’ – vanished from the Google Play Store, after the security researcher (who uses the alias Elliot Alderson) alleged that the app was sending users’ personal data to Singapore, the Times of India reported.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Lamat R Hasan
About the Author: Lamat is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Politics

Press freedom is deteriorating in Asia, elections may offer a reset button

With many countries going to polls this year, the electorate across Asia have a chance to turn around a worrying press freedom situation. Maria Ressa’s arrest on Wednesday was the latest in a string of blatant attacks on the freedom of the press in Southeast Asia. For those that don’t know, Ressa is an award-winning journalist and CEO of the news website the Rappler. Her coverage of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s extra-judicial war on drugs has received recognition far beyond her borders and as such, she is seen as a direct threat to the government. The latest arrest, made without prior warning, stemmed from a libel case where the complaint was filed five years after the initial story was published. Numerous press alliances, including the Asia News Network, have condemned the arrest as a blatant attack on freedom of the press. As the Philippines chapter of the Centre for Media Freedom and


By Cod Satrusayang
February 15, 2019

Politics

Thai Princess Ubolratana disqualified from election next month

The Election Commission said that members of the royal family should be “above politics” and therefore cannot “hold any political office”. Thailand’s Election Commission has ruled a princess out of next month’s election as uncertainty hangs over the fate of the political party which tried to nominate her as its candidate for prime minister. The name of Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya, King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s elder sister, was left out of a list prime minister nominees released by the commission on Monday (Feb 11). There are 69 names, including that of current Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, on the list. “All membe


By The Straits Times
February 12, 2019

Politics

South Korea, US ink provisional defense cost-sharing pact

Getting allies to pay ‘their fair share’ has been a major part of President Trump’s rhetoric. South Korea and the United States signed a provisional agreement Sunday on the sharing of costs to maintain US troops here, with South Korea raising its share by 8.2 percent. Seoul’s negotiator, Chang Won-sam, and his US counterpart, Timothy Betts, met in Seoul to ink the contract. Under the new deal, South Korea will pay about 1.03 trillion won ($890 million) to cover the costs of stationing the 28,500 members of US Armed Forces Korea here throughout 2019. The figure reflects the rate of increase of South Korea’s annual defense budget, according to the Foreign Ministry in Seoul. Last year, South Korea paid about 960 billion won to its ally for the same purpose.


By The Korea Herald
February 11, 2019

Politics

Thailand is headed for another political crisis and it can’t stop itself

Prayuth Chan-ocha may be prime minister after elections but what comes after is much harder. On the 16th of May, 1877, French President Patrice de Mac-Mahon dismissed then Prime Minister Jules Simon and named a successor who was rejected by the house of parliament. Mac-Mahon responded by dissolving parliament unilaterally leading to a constitutional crisis which changed the landscape of French politics until well into the 20th century. Thailand may soon experience something similar.


By Cod Satrusayang
February 11, 2019

Politics

200 Myanmar Buddhist flee violence into Bangladesh

The refugees were fleeing from clashes between the central government and a separatist group. Around 200 Buddhists from Myanmar’s Chin state crossed into a remote hilly region of Bandarban’s Ruma on Monday following intensified fighting between Myanmar army and rebel group Arakan Army, officials said. Shamsul Alam, upazila nirbahi officer in Ruma upazila, said members of around 40 Myanmar families took shelter in Cheih Kaying Para under Remakree Prangsha union. The fresh arrival of Myanmar nationals takes place at a time when Bangladesh is struggling to cope with the burden of over a million Rohingya Muslims. Of them, some 750,000 have taken shelter in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar since August 2017 following a military crackdown in Rakhine. Some 1,300 Rohingyas recently fled to the camps from India after allegedly facing abuses and threats in the neighbouring country. Several do


By Daily Star
February 8, 2019

Politics

Editorial: Modi’s visit underscores atrocities in Kashmir

An editorial at Dawn takes a look at India Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Kashmir. There couldn’t have been a more apt prelude to Kashmir Day, observed in Pakistan on Feb 5 each year, than the images of the closed-down occupied valley in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit. The land was on a lockdown to ensure smooth passage for the Indian prime minister, who was visiting to monitor development projects. Businesses were closed and internet services on the phone suspended. True to tradition, several well-known Kashmiri leaders were put under house arrest and hundreds of others also taken into custody in the run-up to the trip. Srinagar presented the look of a city besieged by soldiers taking control of the roads. Read more: 


By Dawn
February 6, 2019