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It isn’t just Airtel: MTNL has also been inserting Javascript into Internet connections

While much of the attention has been focused on Airtel inserting javascript into users internet connections, apparently without their consent and without informing them (we're awaiting responses from Airtel regarding its approach to privacy), it's not lost on us that state owned MTNL has also been inserting code into what users are browsing. While Airtel claims that this code was inserted to monitor user bandwidth consumption-  something they should be able to do without having to insert code, so this could be about deeper tracking of Internet usage - MTNL has been pushing advertisements into user Internet connections. This is something I should have written about a year ago (had even planned to file an RTI), which is when it started happening, but somehow never got around to it. A few things to note about the ads: - Ads inserted by MTNL have typically been for their own services, and have identified my landline number in the message delivered to me. - Ads have popped up on both the desktop and mobile, but always in browsers. On mobile, it's particularly irritating since it's difficult to cancel the ads. - In a few cases, they have been for value added services (called BBVAS) such as anti-virus tools. I've been regularly taking screenshots of these ads. Some samples from my Internet browsing over the past year, where MTNL ads have popped up, on TechCrunch, Naukri.com, MediaNama, The Indian Express, Hindu BusinessLine, Flipkart:    These advertisements were being pushed via a service called Adphonso, and this post…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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