Sunday, August 9, 2015

Government Cites ‘Security Implications’ to Deny RTI Query on Identity of Nehru Vandal // Does the IP address belong to the NIC itself?

NB: Will the Prime Minister, Home Minister and National Security Advisor please tell us why the identity of an internet vandal is a national secret? Is it true sirs, that the NIC itself has planted these slanderous fictions? What good will accrue to India's security by slandering Jawaharlal Nehru? Also (following the news of ABVP activists vandalising a statue of Don Bosco in Guwahati) will they tell us whether the GoI is committed to encouraging hooligans of the Sangh Parivar to engage in violence designed to intimidate all Indian citizens who do not subscribe to the RSS way of thinking? And (following the Mumbai police raid and assault on unmarried couples), whether the BJP considers love, sex or even friendship outside marriage to be a cognisable offence requiring police action? Is this the Government of India or a government of hooligans? DS

Citing unspecified “security implications”, the National Informatics Centre is refusing to disclose the identity of the person who vandalised the Wikipedia page of Jawaharlal Nehru by posting scurrilous information about him.

In response to an RTI application, the NIC, software solution provider to the government, said it was withholding the information based on inputs received from the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT)-IN. The reply, however, does not cite any exemption clauses provided in the transparency law. “Based on the input from CERT.IN, it is seen that there may be security implications in sharing the information. Thus the same may not be shared,” the response from the CPIO of the NIC, Swarup Dutta said.

Another RTI application, filed by journalist Rahul M drew a similar response, with the CPIO adding: ‘No larger public interest will be served by providing this information.’ The RTI applicant had sought from the Department of Electronic and Information Technology the details of IP address which was allegedly used to alter the Wikipedia page on prime ministers of India in which malicious information about Nehru was posted on it.

Specifically, on June 26, 2015, someone using the IP address had inserted the following bit of text into the page:

In fact both Nehru and Jinnah were paramours of Edwina Mountbatten, who blackmailed them with their sexually explicit nude photos with her in the bed and made them sign the partition papers. Edwina never slept in bed with her husband Lord Mountbatten, who was a gay, anyway. She was married to him only to gain access to the powers that be and armtwist the the two leaders to agree to partition.

Also on the same page, information about Nehru’s house was modified to read:

Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14 November 1889 inat 77, Mirganj, a red light area in Allahabad in British Raj|British India. Allahabad District Magistrate Neeraj Gupta admitted that the house which was Nehru’s birth place is a den of flesh trade. But all the records of the exact location of the house are missing from Government files. Prostitutes have divided the house into several parts , modified it and even got the house number altered for fear of its acquisition by the Government. H.N.Bahuguna, when he was Chief Minister of U.P., asked the Allahabad Commissioner in 1972 to construct a Memorial at Nehru’s birth place in Mirganj. However, nothing was actually done because no one wanted to stir the sleeping dog and alert the Indian Public regarding the true nature of Nehru’s background.

The NIC was also asked to provide the names of the officers who used the IP address at the time of content on Wikipedia being edited. The applicant had also sought to know if any inquiry was initiated in the matter. Surprisingly, the NIC did not cite any of the 10 subsections of Section 8 of the Right to Information Act for withholding information which is mandatory under the Act.

Though the identity of the culprit is unknown, we do know he or show likely works for a government department because the IP address belongs to NICNET, which provides internet access to the government. We also know the unknown editor shared an interest in other members of the Nehru family (specifically Motilal and Gangadhar) and in Nihal Chand, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers in the Narendra Modi government.

We know this because other edits made from the same IP address in recent months on Wikipedia include:

  • The addition of the following line (on June 26, 2015)  to the biography of Gangadhar Nehru, grandfather of Jawaharlal: “Gangadhar was born as a Muslim by the name of Ghiasuddin Ghazi but changed his name to a Hindu Ganga Dhar to escape from British clutches.”
  • The addition (on June 26, 2015) of a reference to the page of Motilal Nehru that he was the son of Gangadhar Nehru, who was a Muslim Ghiasudin Ghazi.
  • Multiple, factual edits to the page of Nihal Chand, MP from Rajasthan and a minister in the Modi government
Earlier edits to Wikipedia entries from the same IP address include the following:

  • Hariharpur (on April 22, 2013) – “This village is under Ekma block ; 7 km from Ekma and 35 km from Chapra. This is very beatiful vilage of district and resident of this village are prosperous.”
  • Literary references to thistles (on July 17, 2012) – “In Yashar’s Kemal book whereas the thistles symbolize oppression and Nature’s antagonism, in ”Hadji Murad”, the last great novella of Leo N. Tolstoy, thistles stand for taits of adaptability and adamancy that human beings exhibit because of their lust for life.”
  • The dates of the non-cooperation movement (on June 25, 2012) – “This movement lasted from September 1920 to February 1922.”
  • List of pornographic actresses by decade (on July 23, 2012) – Addition of “Sunny Leon”

The first comment beneath this article states:
The IP address belongs to NIC itself, according to this:

see also