//Kerala brass gets e-mail threatening death for PM, president

Kerala brass gets e-mail threatening death for PM, president

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 27, 2006

Image Four people from Kochi were arrested Friday as the Kerala government went into a tizzy after top police officials and the home secretary received an e-mail threatening death for President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when they visit the state.

Three letter bombs had gone off hours before President Kalam visited the state last month for a day-long visit.  On 2nd october2006, Police arrested a 29-year-old Hindu youth identified as Rajeev Sharma, an electronics diploma-holder hailing from Kazhakootam who  posted  six letter bombs to different people. Even in that case, Police initially arrested Muslim youths without any evidence and tortured them for weeks with the help of media and tried to relate their name with NDF, Madani or SIMI.

Later, when the police realised that  the true culprit is not from Muslim community, they softened the stand by  partially glorifying Rajeev Sharma as a `meek character with a scientific temperament using an innovative method to intimidate his enemies. '  The critics consider it as an attempt elude him from hard litigation process which is usually initiated on explosive crimes.  Today, there are thousands of  Hindutva websites which promote hate against minorities in India.  On the other end, plenty of Indian Porn websites  publish profiles of  Indian call girls, their nude pictures along with the telephone numbers to be contacted. Some way, the Cyber wing of Indian Police forces so far failed  to  initiate any  substantial charges against such cyber crimes.

According to Director General of Police Raman Srivatsav, the e-mail sent from a cyber café in Kochi makes a reference to Mohammed Afzal, sentenced to death for his role in the 2001 parliament attack , and Abdul Nasser Madhani, who is in jail for his role in 1996 bomb blasts in Coimbatore.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Srivatsav said they see the e-mail, which was sent late Thursday, as a very serious issue.

"I can't disclose the contents but it has reference to Afzal Guru and the jailed Madhani, chairman of the People's Democratic Party (PDP). The immediate threat is to the prime minister and also to the president of India," he said.

Meanwhile,  NEWINDPRESS.COM , which selectively sort out  "MUSLIM TERROR STORIES as their BREAKING  NEWS" published the full content of the mail as follows:

Prime Minister and the President.

From: Students Islamic Movement of India ([email protected])

Subject: November 1 PM's Last day

The Honourable Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh will be killed on November 1, 2006 in Kerala. He deserves it on account of the Mohammed Afsal Guru’s judgment and cruelty faced by Abdul Nasir Maudany.

Added to that, Honourable President of India APJ Abdul Kalam too will be killed in due course positively before his 76th birthday next year. And all of them to happen in Kerala, the Allah’s own country and nowhere else. Save them, if you dare!!! Insha Allah!!! Start the count down from Prime Minister; target on November 1, 2006. Good luck!

By quoting Intelligence officials to spice up the terror story, NEWINDPRESS.COM also published few other stories relating  this cyber crime with "a land hawala mafia" and a scheduled "bomb blast in Mysore " and its Kerala , Kozhikode connections. The whole story appeared to be part of an "intelligent design"  orchestrated by vested interest groups in the national level "as a chain of  terror events"  to demonise Muslim minority. 

Subsequently, with the help of saffron scribes, similar news were published in the web editions of  The Daily Pioneer, Kamudi, and TV channels from Kerala including the infamous Asianet which recently aired an  "exclusive fake news"!

Surprisingly, a more official version of the news appeared earlier than the rest with  www.haindavakeralam.org,  10/27/2006 4:10:35 AM, as they knew it before anyone else!  It is the official web portal of Kerala Sangh Parivar groups which promotes hate campaign against Communists, Muslims and Christians.

In the US, Jews exploit their monopoly on the media by imposing their will and the will of the zionist state upon Americans. The Hindu extremists do exactly the same in India. They position themselves to determine what the Indian public sees, hears and learns by invading in the media. Thousands of "Hindutva" sites on the Internet publish their own version of "unbiased" data and arguments that buttress communal "pro-hindutva" propaganda. These sites have, over the years, created a breed of self styled intellectuals as the Internet has no means of checking the credentials of "experts" and "intellectuals". Some of them carry overt communal messages, and often prominently display exhortations to physically eliminate the supposed "enemies of hindutva". The names of many of these sites—Hindu Unity, Sarvarkar Darshan, Soldiers of Hindutva, Mabharati, Karamsad, Indian’s Hindutva Web Site, Mera Bharat Mahan, Hindu Women vs. Muslim Women, Hindu Force, Saffron Tigers, etc.—are a good indicator of their content.  In May, 2004, Mumbai police  blocked hindunity.org for propogating hate and publishing materials against minorites but failed to initiate legal proceedings.

"The investigation is centred in and around Kochi. We are certain to crack the case very soon," Kerala's DGP, Srivatsav said. The security officials  traced the IP address of the  hate email, and the email was originated from an Internet Cafe in Kochi.   The firm is owned by  a muslim women , Shahida wife of Moideen from Kochi. Police have taken the couple and two of their employees into custody and interrogated them.

On Dec 16, 2005. a similar e-mail threat to bomb Indian Parliament led to an unprecedented evacuation of some 4,000 people including MPs from the building, which was sent from [email protected], a unique ID to propogate its muslim source of terror!

 INTERNET USAGE AND POLICING IN INDIA

The hype surrounding its emergence as a digital superpower notwithstanding, the International Telecommunication Union placed India at the bottom of 40 major economies in the ‘Digital Opportunity Index’ in 2005. That India is ranked below several countries in East Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America is hardly surprising, considering India’s laggard social and physical infrastructure. India has never spent the universally accepted 6 per cent of GDP on education.

The Internet's promising future in India is hampered by poor quality phone lines and p
ressures from the government. Two laws, one of them passed after the 11 September attacks, allow monitoring of the Internet and criminalises much activity by users. Parliament approved the Information Technology Act in May 2000 to crack down on cybercrime, which it defines as unauthorised access to electronic data. Hacking is punishable by up three years in prison and heavy fines. Cybercafés and the homes of Internet users can be searched at any time without a warrant if cybercrime is suspected and those who set up "anti-Indian" websites can be jailed for five years.

The press revealed in March 2001 that police and government agencies were regularly harassing ISPs to provide personal information about their customers. The head of one of the biggest ISPs, Rediff.com, said he was being approached about once a month but refused to cooperate. The boss of Satyam Infoway, another major ISP, said he was under constant pressure of this kind.
 
Registration of cybercafé customers
 
The strict legal regulation of the Internet allows prosecution of anyone violating what the government considers moral and political rules. In April 2001, police investigated pupils at one of New Delhi's biggest schools, accusing them of creating a "pornographic" website featuring their teachers and classmates. The probe began after the father of one pupil saw the name of his daughter on the site.

The authorities regularly condemn pornographic sites as the plague of the Internet, but they are hugely popular with customers of the cybercafés that are opening everywhere in major cities. Cybercafé owners make a goodwill gesture to the government by displaying warning notices to discourage their young customers.

Police in Mumbai announced in May 2001 that anyone wanting to use a cybercafé there would need to show an ID, driving licence or student card or for foreigners a passport or plane ticket. Customers deemed bona fide would be given a special card they could use on each visit. Cybercafé owners opposed the measure, but the authorities argued that they received some 50 complaints a day about credit card fraud, hacking, supposed terrorist activities or pornography on the Internet.

In June 2002, the Indian Intelligence Bureau reportedly asked the American FBI to help it develop software to tap into mobile phones and e-mail messages of members of criminal and terrorist groups. The news site rediff.com said talks were going on to establish this link between the two intelligence agencies.
 

Confidentiality of journalists' sources under threat
 
In November 2001, an anti-terrorist law (the Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance – POTO) was passed in the wake of the 11 September attacks, allowing the government to monitor all kinds of electronic communications, including personal e-mail, without legal restriction. Evidence gathered this way can be used in court against a suspect. In an attempt to justify its anti-terrorist and anti-cybercrime policy, the government said it would share this information with the US intelligence services.

As important users of the Internet, journalists were especially targeted in the first draft of the new law, which proposed jail terms of five years for failure to give the authorities information about terrorists or terrorist organisations. After protests by the opposition and human rights and freedom of expression activists, this clause, obliging journalists to reveal their sources, was dropped and law adopted for a period of three years instead of five.

Tehelka.com brings down the defence minister

 This attempt to control the Internet did not however prevent people from using it as a new vehicle of press freedom. In March 2001, a news site called Tehelka.com (which means "great excitement" in Hindi) lived up to its name. Investigative journalists, equipped with video cameras and pretending to be arms merchants, revealed that politicians, civil servants and top army officers had accepted bribes and the services of prostitutes in exchange for helping businessmen get government and especially military contracts. This corruption enquiry rocked the political class and the government itself and defence minister George Fernandes and the president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Bangaru Laxman, were forced to resign.

The scandal highlighted the possibilities of the Internet as a new medium, but also drew a repressive reaction. The editor of Tehelka.com complained of efforts by the prime minister's office to discredit the site, accusing it being in the pay of Pakistani intelligence and organised crime. The journalists who broke the scandal were physically threatened and had to be given heavy police protection.

About 20 intelligence agents from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) searched the New Delhi offices of Tehelka.com on 26 June 2002, as well as the home of one of its journalists, Kumar Badal. He was accused of hiring two poachers to film and kill two of a protected species of leopards in the jungle in Saharanpur, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. But the CBI could not produce any incriminating evidence from among the material they had seized in their searches.

However, the agents reportedly confiscated papers about the founding of the website, including e-mails from Shankar Sharma, owner of the company First Global and the first to bankroll the operation, who is now in prison.

The searches were ordered a few hours before the website's chief editor, Tarun Tejpal, was due to give evidence to the Venkataswami Commission set up by the government to look into the corruption revealed by the site. The hearing of Tejpal, set for the same day as that of the former president of the Samata party, Jaya Jaitly – the alleged contact between the defence minister and the arms dealers – was postponed.

The website's lawyer, Kavin Gulati, said the enquiry had reached a crucial moment of cross-examining witnesses, which suggested that the date of the search was deliberately chosen. A CBI spokesman said it was "sheer coincidence."

Badal was arrested on 3 July and went on hunger strike for several days in protest against his imprisonment. He was being held under the Wildlife Protection Act and was humiliated in various ways. "I've been subjected to all this just because I work for Tehelka, which is determined to expose high-level corruption," he said.

He was freed on 13 January 2003 on bail of 50,000 rupees (nearly 1,000 euros) by a simple decision of the supreme court. But federal police vainly tried to block his release, saying investigations were not yet complete. Badal was put under house arrest in New Delhi and has to report to the CBI on the first Monday of each month. He was also banned from going to the Saharanpur district, where the complaint against him was filed.

The harassment of Tehelka partly explained why the site announced in early 2003 it could not longer keep up a daily edition. Tejpal said that despite the reputation the site had gained and the praise it had received, Tehelka had been relentlessly victimised because of its revelations about the military. For two years, the staff had been harassed and arrested, and had shrunk from 120 to three, and the site's debts had mounted. He said
he hoped the site would eventually return to help build free media in India.
 
Journalist jailed for downloading material from the Internet
 
Police in New Delhi charged journalist Iftikhar Gilani, New Delhi bureau chief of the Kashmir Times and correspondent for the Pakistani daily The Nation, with spying for Pakistan on 7 September 2002 by passing on details to Pakistani officials of the position of Indian troops and paramilitary forces in Kashmir. The charges were based on clauses of the Official Secrets Act and also articles of the Penal Code relating to criminal conspiracy and pornography. He had been arrested on 9 June.

After first accusing him of financial irregularities, spying and involvement in pornography, police then said he had downloaded a document from the Internet about the fighting in Kashmir and had admitted it was to be handed to Pakistan. This material was available to any member of the public, but the judge in charge of the case said she had not had time to look at the website in question to check. Gilani said he had been beaten by other detainees at Tihar prison, near New Delhi, and refused access to the library. His several requests for release on bail were rejected.

An army intelligence official told a judge on 23 December that no secret information had been found on Gilani's computer, obliging the government to drop prosecution of him and ask for his release. When he came out of prison on 13 January 2003, he called on journalists and politicians to see that the state secrets law was repealed.
 
( Courtesy : Reporters Without Borders )
 

NDTV REPORT on Hate mail against Mr. Narendra Modi 

In the middle of february, 2006,  Thirty-two-year-old Muslim youth named, Mr. Omar Siddique and his 70 year old father Mr. Irfan Sidhiqui  landed in jail for replying to an email apparently coming from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The anti-terrorist squad (ATS)  Chief of the squad D.G. Vanzhara of the Gujarat police has arrested a father and son in Delhi for allegedly sending a threatening and abusive e-mail to Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Irfan Siddiqui, who retired as a Union Deputy Secretary 10 years ago, was arrested because the telephone used to send the e-mail was registered in his name. A graduate of the Delhi School of Economics, Farookh was an employee of a computer company. The police have not been able to find any link with criminal or terrorist organisations.

The Gujarat government insisted  that the mail wasn't spam and that Siddique was a subscriber to a service provided by the government. The email, dated December 4, 2005, invited people to visit Gujarat for the Navratri festival and urged them to spread the message about the festival. But the address used to send the  unsolicited e-mail was [email protected]  It was blacklisted in the same month as spam by the international anti-spam organisation Spamhaus. The email was signed Narendra Modi, though it does not have his digital signatures.

(Spamhaus, a London-based reputed organisation told NDTV that the particular email sent from [email protected] The address has been in use for at least four years.  This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it is spam, because it was sent out as unsolicited bulk email.)

Internet ethics, they say, dictate that people do not send bulk mail without permission.

But the email on the kite festival was received by an Internet user unsolicited in 2003. When Delhi-based Omar Siddique replied to such an email, his reply reached the Chief Minister's office.

The Gujarat government insists Omar got the email after subscribing to it. But NDTV has learnt from Omar's family and friends that he got it unsolicited.

Omar was arrested by the Gujarat police and taken to Ahmedabad on grounds of using abusive and threatening language and then let off.

Later, eminent personalities  condemned the manner in which a young professional Omar Farooque, who sent hate mail to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was arrested in the capital and detained by the police. However, they expressed relief that Mr. Farooque had now been released.

In a statement issued in New Delhi, they said: "The police version of the release, as reported by the media, that Omar had realised his mistake and a large hearted Modi had pardoned him is obnoxious and unacceptable".

Among the signatories to the statement were Professor Purushottam Agrawal of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, economist Jean Dreze, Professor Uma Chakravarti, Arunima Gopinath, Professor Ajay Tiwari, Professor Alok Rai of Delhi University, theatre persons Jamal Kidwai and Heeren Gandhi, educationists Gurveen Kaur and Shalini Advani, social activists Farah Naqvi, Aditya Nigam, Harsh Mander, Kavita Srivastava and Anil Chaudhry.

They said: "We find it absolutely unacceptable that Gujarat police can come to Delhi, knock at our door, and pick up anybody without a proper arrest warrant. What is even more bewildering is that Delhi police allows this to happen and shows complete helplessness … It is a clear case of violation of the citizen's fundamental right to freedom."

The statement said that it was Mr. Modi's government that had sent an "absolutely unwelcome invitation from Narendra Modi's e-mail id" asking Mr. Farooque to attend the annual kite festival in Gujarat. 

On Dec 16, 2005,an email threat to bomb Indian Parliament led to an unprecedented evacuation of some 4,000 people including MPs from the building, but the investigations  never reached results even though the authorities initially arrested 3 Muslim youths from Palayamkottai in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli district.

On December 2005,  IB officials from Chennai, nabbed Pandikkad Government Higher Secondary School students Ayub Khan and Basith from Malappuram District in Kerala for  allegedly sending an email address of the same. They were questioned by all the agencies involved in the investigation of the Parliament bomb threat. It was concluded that the youths had no link with the bomb threat.

The government-sponsored Akshaya (Bridging the digital divide) project in Muslim majority Malappuram district has made the district 80 percent e-literate, becoming a model for the overwhelmingly Muslim Malaysia. Muslims believe that there is a concret efforts by hindutva fascists to demonise muslims and to discourage them from using the benefits of digital revolution in the country.

Some times back, the CEO of eBay India (called Baazee.com) was arrested in connection with a scandal involving sale of a pornographic video CD on the site. (Indian law makes the sale/distribution/circulation, etc of "obscene" materials criminal under S.292 of the Indian Penal Code with some minor expansion of the offence under S.67 of the Information Technology Act. Although the definition of "obscene" is pretty broad, enforcement is extremely spotty, with hardcore pornography being freely available at most neighbourhood video stores.).

Spamming is a civil offence in the West but in India, it is punish
able only if the emails pose a visible threat.

"Spamming is difficult to prove as an offence if the mail is not causing you harm, so we need to evolve a consensus that spamming is unacceptable," said Gulshan Rai, Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), Department of Information Technology.

The question the government needs to focus on now is who was sending out spam in the name of the government.

It is also about the rights of Internet users because spamming is not yet an offence but responding to an unwanted email becomes a criminal offence.

Californian porn princess Ruth Parasaol and her Indian Partner, Mr. Anuraga Dikshit has made a fortune of 10 Billion US $ with an online gambling firm based in America.  Mr.Anurag Dikshit, a computer engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology owns 42%. at the firm. Ms Parasol, in her late 30s, and her husband, Russ DeLeon, each own 20% of the company. The amount is little less than Marks & Spencer, or the combined value of British Airways and EMI.

 

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL against INTERNET CENSORSHIP 

Amnesty International marked its 45th anniversary 28th May 2006  by launching a global campaign to stamp out state censorship of the Internet. The human rights pressure group called on Web users to sign a pledge calling on governments to stop censoring sites and urging technology corporations not to collude with them.

Arguing that online censorship is a new threat to freedom, Amnesty claimed to have uncovered Internet repression in areas around the world from China and Tunisia to Vietnam, Iran, Israel and the Maldives.

Calling for the release of "cyber dissidents" jailed for expressing their political views online, Amnesty said Internet cafes are being shut down, computers seized, chat rooms monitored and blogs deleted.

"The Internet is a huge, powerful tool. We see governments censoring access to the Internet or locking people up for having conversations about democracy and freedom," said Kate Allen, UK director of Amnesty International.

Launching a new irrepressible.info Web site to challenge Internet censorship, Allen said "I call on governments to stop the unwarranted restriction of freedom of expression and on companies to stop helping them do it."

The world's largest Internet providers have become embroiled in an international debate about Web censorship, especially in China.

Earlier this month, Yahoo Inc. said it was seeking the U.S. government's help in urging China to allow more media freedom after reports linking information it gave to Chinese authorities with the jailing of a dissident.

The case was the latest to highlight conflicts of profit and principle for Internet companies in the world's second biggest Internet market.

Web search leader Google Inc, has come under fire for saying it would block politically sensitive terms on its new China site, bowing to conditions set by Beijing.

The new campaign for freedom on the information superhighway was launched in the Observer newspaper. In 1961, an article by Peter Benenson in the same newspaper, calling on governments to stop persecution, led to Amnesty being founded.

Corporations accused of collusion were quick to defend themselves in the newspaper with Yahoo corporate communications manager Alex Laity telling The Observer: "We condemn punishment of any activity internationally recognised as free expression whether that punishment takes place in China or anywhere else in the world."

Amnesty, which once relied on letter writing campaigns to bombard governments with pleas to release political prisoners, now has 1.8 million supporters in more than 100 countries.

Adapting "People Power" to the electronic age as a tool for pressurising international opinion, Amnesty urged Web users to sign an online pledge which will be presented to a U.N. meeting on the future of the Internet in November.

Amnesty International, with the support of The Observer UK newspaper launched  launched a campaign, to show that online or offline the human voice and human rights are impossible to repress.

Irrepressible.INFO

 http://irrepressible.info/ 

 

Further Readings

 

Finding Muslim Link for Cyber Crimes 

http://www.humanrightskerala.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4517&Itemid=5 

 

List of Indian Websites hacked . A project by Mr. Srijith Krishnan Nair

http://www.srijith.net/trinetre/archives/2003/08/08.shtml 

 

CAUCE, The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email, India

http://www.india.cauce.org/ 

 

Indian Cyber Laws

http://www.naavi.org/importantlaws/itbill2000/index.htm

 

Center for Democracy and Technology.

http://www.cdt.org/ 

 

Electronic Frontier  Foundation

EFF is a nonprofit group of passionate people — lawyers, technologists, volunteers, and visionaries — working to protect your digital rights.

http://www.eff.org/ 

 

Learn the Truth About Lie Detectors known as Polygraph Test 

http://antipolygraph.org

 

Anti Terrorism and Security Laws in India, A comprehensive study by New York City Bar Association

http://nycbar.org/pdf/ABCNY_India_Report.pdf 

 Akshaya Project

http://akshaya.net

 

Richard Stalman

http://www.stallman.org/