Cyber Supari–The Rise of the IT Don

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Elections in India are a time you can expect the most unexpected to happen! They never fail to surprise and confuse the public with new revealing facts (thanks to the many dozen sting operations) that all suddenly seem to show up before elections.  In all this drama of maligning and defaming other party candidates, one can’t miss the new-age Don —the Cyber Supari guys! With the progress of IT industry in India, the rules of Don-giri seem to have changed to include educated IT professionals.

I was surprised to read about a media house’s  sting operation revealing some IT companies helping out khadiclad  Indian Netas (Politicians) by damaging the reputation of their rivals and in some cases to even trigger riots in communally sensitive areas. The best example is the recent Muzaffarnagar riots in the state of Uttar Pradesh. A  fake video on Facebook  is believed to have incited communal tensions by spreading it through Social Media. More than sixty people are feared to have lost their lives in the clashes. The UP Government has asked for the help of the US to identify who uploaded this video. Similarly, a fake bulk SMS campaign saw over 15,000 North-Easterners from Bangalore leave for their home states last year in August (2012) fearing communal riots and their safety.

Some nefarious IT professionals and companies are now part of this “Hit & Run” cyber terrorism and feel very  powerful as the new age ‘Don’. They have discovered a profitable new market and hobnobbing with big named Politicans can be intoxicating to some.I guess these IT professionals need a hippocratic oath to serve and protect like the Doctors rather than to serve and destroy! The politicans who hire these IT ‘Dons’ have historically been accused of using all means to win i.e. distribute money, promise all kind of welfare schemes if they are elected (free TV’s, Laptops, Food, cancelling loans) but now they are  using technology in the same way. You have  fake online viral videos replacing fake CD’s of their opponents, threatening of site administrators has replaced booth capturing and viruses used to swell Facebook likes has replaced paying people to attend their election rallies.

I guess one thing that politicans cannot be accused of is not being innovative?

Your thoughts are welcome.

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