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Derek O’Brien terms Tek Fog a natural security threat, wants Standing Committee to discuss app

The scandal revolves around a secretive app with features that are reportedly used to amplify right-wing propaganda.

Terming the Tek Fog app as a 'defilement of the country's democracy and security', Rajya Sabha MP Derek O'Brien has written a letter urging the chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Home Affairs Anand Sharma to take up the explosive revelations about the app in the committee's next meeting. MediaNama has reached out to Sharma with queries in this regard, and we will update the post if we receive a response. O'Brien, who is a member of the committee, said that the Tek Fog app, whose details were uncovered in an investigation by The Wire, is — A violation of the Fundamental Rights to Privacy and Free Speech An exploitation of public discourse Could jeopardise national security Tek Fog, an intrusive software application, is the first of its kind to have been exposed as being used for political means in India. It gives a glimpse of the sophistication of such apps that are able to operate in the dark, in the absence of robust data privacy laws in the country. What can the app do? O'Brien, referring to The Wire article, said that the app can do the following — Hijack Twitter trends: O'Brien said that this section which usually contains organically popular conversations on the platform based on the number of retweets/shares under a topic, is hijacked artificially by the Tek Fog app. "Tek Fog is able to generate artificial re-tweeting/ sharing through its “auto-retweet” or “autoshare” feature, effectively manufacturing artificial trends," O'Brien added. Additionally, The Wire investigation found that…

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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