After NaMo App Flaws, Congress App Under Scanner

Rahul Gandhi at an event organized by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) in Bahrain (file photo). Courtesy: Congress
Rahul Gandhi at an event organized by the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) in Bahrain (file photo). Courtesy: Congress

Rahul Gandhi’s criticism is based on the revelation from a French security researcher Elliot Alderson who has been posting a series of tweets about the vulnerabilities in Modi’s NaMo App.

By Rakesh Raman

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has not yet stopped his attack on Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s mobile app that Congress alleges collects users’ personal data secretly.

Despite a rebuff from Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday, Gandhi continued his Twitter assault on Modi’s mobile app today. He suggested that Modi’s NaMo App secretly records audio, video, contacts of users’ friends and family members, and even tracks their location via GPS.

“He’s (Modi) the Big Boss who likes to spy on Indians. Now he wants data on our children,” Gandhi said, adding that 13 lakh NCC cadets are being forced by Modi to download his app.

Rahul Gandhi also has started a Twitter hashtag #DeleteNaMoApp which urges users to delete NaMo App.

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BJP said that Gandhi is trying to divert attention from the controversy surrounding his party’s association with a rogue data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. BJP has accused Congress of engaging Cambridge Analytica in India for winning elections fraudulently.

Earlier on Sunday, Gandhi had ridiculed Modi for collecting Indians’ personal data and sharing it with his friends in American companies. The Congress president also had criticized the mainstream media for ignoring the NaMo App story.

Gandhi’s criticism is based on the revelation from a French security researcher Elliot Alderson who has been posting a series of tweets about the vulnerabilities in Modi’s NaMo App.

Alderson is now exploring the Congress app that the party is using for enrolling members. “When you apply for membership in the official @INCIndia #android #app, your personal data are send encoded through a HTTP request to http://membership.inc.in,” Alderson revealed.

Message on Congress site
Message on Congress site

However, it is believed that after reading Alderson’s tweet, Congress is trying to fix the glitch, as an error message (“We are incorporating minor changes to the website. Please visit us again in a while to access the INC Membership process.”) appears on the webpage that Alderson mentioned.

He also indicated that Congress removed its Android App from the PlayStore just before his tweet.

Alderson had said Sunday that he has found something interesting on the Congress Android App with the promise to publish the details today, Monday.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a government’s National award-winning journalist. He had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development. He also runs a free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

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Rakesh Raman