Andhra Pradesh, TS spar over Wikileaks expose

WikiLeaks’ latest report on the undivided Andhra Pradesh Police Intelligence unit’s negotiations with the Italian cyber-surveillance firm, Hacking Team, is all set to open a new vista for the Governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to trade charges against one another.

However, in the heat of the barbs, what is being overlooked by sections of the media is that the data released by the whistleblower website on the reported negotiations for procurement of powerful surveillance technology which can infect and target desktops, intercept mobile calls, steal files and even spy on emails, pertained to the period between August 2011 and January 2014. This was the time when the State was still united. The erstwhile united State of Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into two– Telangana and Andhra Pradesh – on the appointed day, June 2, 2014.

The expose has already evoked strong reaction from the two sides with representatives of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi suspecting the AP Government’s intentions in the light of the cash-for-vote episode, allegedly involving Telangana TDP legislators. The TDP government, on its part, had lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Home Affairs on the alleged tapping of the phones of its key functionaries, including Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, by the Telangana government.

The WikiLeaks expose had given enough handle to the Telangana leaders to take on the AP government for its alleged moves to keep a watch on the government of the neighbouring State. The ruling party leaders, however, brushed aside the charges, claiming that the government was fighting against phone-tapping, which was illegal, and it would seldom indulge in the illegal activity.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 7:10:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/andhra-pradesh-ts-spar-over-wikileaks-expose/article7412551.ece

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