We as users of telecom services and members of the Indian tech community, were shocked to learn a few days ago that Airtel was carrying out unsolicited packet injection into all content viewed over its 3G networks.
It was revealed that Airtel was tampering with its user's online communications on its 3G network, and maliciously inserting advertisements into its user's data. This ensured that all users of Airtel's 3G networks were forced to view certain specific advertisements inserted by Airtel, irrespective of the content they chose to view on the Internet. Further, by interfering with the data packets to and from its customers terminals, Airtel has clearly acted in violation of the privacy rights of at least thousands if not millions of Indian citizens and has rendered their online communications unsafe.
The aforesaid revelations, made in public interest, by an Indian citizen, Thejesh GN, has however brought about an absolutely unethical and disproportionate response. An Israeli company, Flash Networks, purporting to be the creator of the software responsible for the illegal packet injection on Airtel's networks has issued a 'Cease and Desist' notice, that threatens civil and criminal action against the Bangalore based developer. In a mala fide and clearly desperate attempt to silence any talk of Airtel's violations of Indian citizens constitutionally protected rights, Flash Networks has also had the relevant explanatory content posted by Thejesh taken down from the Internet. The initial violations of privacy and network neutrality are now being compounded by an attempt to violate an Indian citizen's rights to free speech!
FSMI appeals to all other groups working on net neutrality to oppose Airtel and Flash Networks illegal and unethical actions and share this code widely, thus defeating corporate attempts to muzzle citizens right to free speech (which are only intended to cover up acts of corporate malfeasance).
Sharing the relevant portion of the code is merely intended to illustrate the methods used by telecom companies to illegally and unethically mine user data thereby rendering their communications and personal data vulnerable. This serves the purpose of educating the public on a vital issue concerning the violation of Constitutionally protected rights and encourages others to continue to expose the use of malicious code against users by telecom companies, without their consent.