Netizens slam TRAI for publishing email addresses

Our online privacy is comprised, they say

In a major gaffe that some pejoratively termed “height of transparency,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India on Monday published the names and email addresses of over a million users, compromising their online privacy in the process.

Netizens had written to TRAI expressing concerns on the Net neutrality debate last month, in response to a consultation paper on regulatory framework for over-the-top services or apps that offer instant messaging and VOIP.

However, users did not expect the regulator to make their names and emails public, leaving them exposed to online marketeers and spammers.

On Monday, TRAI released a PDF file titled “comments received from the stakeholders towards the Consultation paper on ‘Regulatory Framework for OTT services’.”

“Because of the large number of comments received and for easy viewership, the comments are divided into three blocks — comments from the Service Providers; Comments from the Service Providers’ Association and Comments from other Stakeholders,” TRAI said.

Soon, Netizens started expressing outrage over the regulator’s move and TRAI began trending on social networking websites like Twitter.

Website hacked

In response to the release of the emails, hacktivist group Anonymous India claimed to have launched a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attack on the TRAI website, rendering it inaccessible.

“When we were DDoS’ing this is what it was like in #TRAI office ;),” the group tweeted from their handle AnonOpsIndia @opindia_revenge, with a picture of a dog in front of a computer with a caption saying “I have no idea what I’m doing.”

However, the website was up by 6 p.m.

“Guys is back online and they still haven’t done anything about those email Ids. You guys told us to stop. We did,” the group tweeted.

On social media, users slammed TRAI for violating their online privacy and “exposing our email IDs to spammers.”

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