What the security flaw in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s app tells us

Bhavyanshu Parasher, a young computer science engineer took a look at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Android application (among popular apps he studied for his own research purposes). The Narendra Modi app had 500,000+ downloads at that time. He found a major security flaw in how the app accesses the “api.narendramodi.in/api” API. At the time of disclosure, API was being served over “HTTP” as well as “HTTPS”. “HTTP” was being served on older versions of the app. So people who were…

"What the security flaw in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s app tells us"

A stupidified India in the hall of mirrors

As I write this post, Indian Digital rights activists are watching in horror as “ethical hacker” Ankit Fadia has been declared the brand ambassador of Digital India. As Twitter goes nuts trying to show how big a “blunder” this is, perhaps it is time to realize that it is not a blunder. It is a deliberate stupidification of India with deliberate installations of mirrors of Modi’s will rather than independent intellectuals. Deliberate incompetence is the hallmark…

"A stupidified India in the hall of mirrors"

DEITY National Encryption Policy is as good as forbidding encryption

First of all, what is National Encryption Policy? “Under Section 84A of Information Technology Act, 2000 Rules are to be framed to prescribe modes or methods for encryption”. So DeitY has framed a draft of such rules which will decide the future of how encrypted services are to be used or provided to users in India. The preamble in the draft clearly shows that they very well understand what encryption is meant to be used…

"DEITY National Encryption Policy is as good as forbidding encryption"

100 #openyourlegs tweets bhakts do not see

This thing has gone on long enough. Thanks to extremely targeted promotion of one tweet, many BJP supporters who accuse me of it get used to unintentionally participate in a sexualized trolling campaign by BJP’s gutter wing. Several have apologized after coming to know the full story. So, this post is addressed to Modi fans – bhakts in common parlance who may or may not be intentionally engaging in something they would otherwise find obscene.…

"100 #openyourlegs tweets bhakts do not see"

Anti-democracy guidelines on Section 124 IPC by Maharashtra government

The Maharashtra government advisory to the police on Section 124 of the Indian Penal Code make a mockery of democracy itself. Here is a translation of the five preconditions it has issued. Verbal or written, words, gestures or images or other content that expresses hate or contempt or dislike, insult or discontent or enmity or treachery or disloyalty towards the state or central governments in a manner that provokes violence or discontent. Written, verbal, gesture/signs or…

"Anti-democracy guidelines on Section 124 IPC by Maharashtra government"

Women’s rights and porn

Porn has come under extensive criticism from feminists as well. I find this scary. Accusations vary from porn resulting in rape to porn being born from an exploitation of women. I disagree with a lot of these accusations and agree with a few, but do not see blocking of porn as an answer. More importantly, I find it alarming that feminism can selectively abdicate interest in the agency of women. Who decides whether and what porn…

"Women’s rights and porn"