In a what could easily be termed as the most bizarre move by TRAI in the build up to India’s Net neutrality debate, the telecom watchdog has now published a list of over 1 Million e-mail addresses who sent petitions in response to TRAI’s consultation paper.
And while this is already a serious breach of privacy, the e-mail list is openly available on TRAI’s website without any sort of security behind it. Analysts and experts, who have voiced their frustration on Twitter regarding TRAI’s ridiculous move, fear that such publicly available data could be easily used for spamming by various brands out there.
In its justification for this absurd step, The regulatory body says that it has received large number of comments from the stakeholders on its Consultation paper on “Regulatory Framework for OTT services”. So, “to aid the reading of comments”, it has divided them into three blocks — ‘comments from the service providers’, ‘comments from the service providers’ association’ and ‘comments from other stakeholders’ (this includes individuals, organisations, consulting firms etc).
And if this wasn’t enough, TRAI has now asked all “stakeholders” to send “counter comments” to firstname.lastname@example.org by including ‘counter comments’ in the subject of the email. Looks like TRAI hasn’t received enough of slamming already.
Twitter erupted with criticism over this step, with most highlighting spamming as the major fear.
— Raju (@rajupp) April 27, 2015
Thanks to TRAI, spammers and database sellers now have email ids of a cohort of 1M+ Indians who (largely) support #NetNeutrality.
— Rohin Dharmakumar (@r0h1n) April 27, 2015
Net Neutrality has seen a never-seen-before debate in India. While the issue is a burning topic across the globe, the entire international community has been all praise, for the way Indians have come out and protested for Net neutrality. The debate surged up several levels, when Flipkart and Airtel announced a sponsored partnership, wherein Airtel would have promoted Flipkart as a primary service on its to-be launched Airtel Zero platform.