The government's Right to Information (RTI) portal is no longer accepting new user registrations. While existing users can log in, the sign-up button on the login page has been removed and the new user registration page returns a "Not Found" error. The National Informatics Centre, which manages the portal, confirmed to MediaNama that this is a permanent move but did not provide any reason why. We do not know how long new user registration has been disabled, but the issue was flagged by activist Srikanth Lakshmanan on Twitter on November 9. Of course, we have filed an RTI about the RTI portal to find out more. Shailesh Gandhi, the former Central Information Commissioner, told MediaNama: "In the absence of any reasoning for this change, one can only speculate that they want to make the experience less user-friendly" How does this affect the RTI filing experience? While you do not need to have an account for filing RTIs, not having one poses the following inconveniences and privacy concerns: Limits ability to track multiple RTIs: Having an account allowed the user to track the status of multiple RTIs conveniently, but users without an account will now have to manually search for the status of each RTI by providing registration number, email ID, and captcha verification or mandatorily provide their mobile number for bulk tracking using the new View History page. Providing a mobile number makes digital surveillance of filer possible, which in a post-Pegasus world is a serious concern, Srikanth explained. Filing out user…
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