New Delhi: After a spate of attacks on a number of Indian websites and a ground protest event on June 9, that evoked lukewarm response, hactivist group Anonymous Operation India has chosen the Right to Information Act (RTI) as the latest tool in their battle against Internet censorship.
Anonymous India is urging Indian citizens to file RTI applications to seek information regarding the correspondence of public servants with Google, Facebook or other websites on content censorship. Anonymous India says they will collate the information and use it "in even more powerful ways." But did not venture upon further details.
This phase called 'Operation RTI Engaged' is a part of many initiatives planned by the hacker collective in their effort to force the Government of India rethink its Internet censorship strategy.
Full text of Anonymous Operation India's letter to the citizens of India
ANONYMOUS OPERATION INDIA
PHASE II - OPERATION RTI ENGAGED - #OpRTI
June 12, 2012
Dear Citizens of India,
We are Anonymous. We are engaged in a fight with your government to fight their evil schemes of gaining control of our internet. We will not allow this. We will not allow those who do not understand the internet to mangle our rights in their futile attempts at the impossible. Content on the internet cannot be wiped out for those who want to see it and content on the internet must not be made to fit the idea of agreeable for a few powerful people.
People of India, we have been watching. We have been noting the perversion of freedoms to the point where barriers are increasingly restrictive. The politicians whose websites are primitive for the previous decade are deciding from their ignorant perches how the internet of today must be. Their lack of understanding of how content is shared, spread or accessed on the internet makes their restrictive plans ridiculous for any criminal who actually would want to bypass those restrictions, while they serve to keep the common man ignorant of anything they do not wish them to know.It is time to expose this ignorant intolerance for what it is.
It is time to expose the kinds of blocks on free expression that our leaders have silently constructed and to hold them accountable for their subversive attempts at spreading intolerance and disinformation, while suppressing information that shows themselves in bad light.
It is time for a new phase in Operation India. And in this, we need your help.
It has come to our attention that beyond the draconian laws that let orders be obtained from courts to silence parts of the internet, beyond the anti-freedom IT Rules that allow anyone to censor the internet for any reason, there are people in powerful places sending orders to websites to censor content of their own wish. While our laws are increasingly shaped to silence people, the actions of these people are beyond such unconstitutional laws too. They are not legal requests, but ones made at will using their influence to force compliance.
We will be unraveling all anti-free-speech actions in due time, and the step for now is to file RTI applications for the correspondence of every public servant to obtain all records of communication with Google, Facebook or any other websites with respect to censoring content. This should be done in creative ways to obtain the most information. Ask for all communication to google.com or other creative questions like other email addresses used by a public servant if they do not use their official addresses, which is one way of avoiding them being recorded as documents in their official capacity.
These RTI applications should be filed for any public figure you can think of. After you have filed the RTI, you should inform us about it, so that we can maintain a list to make sure efforts are not duplicated and each effort makes a significant contribution. When you receive the documents from the RTI reply, we will make them public. Stay tuned for the next phase of our operation, which will use these documents in even more powerful ways.
We see it. We are watching.
We are Anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive those who would steal our voice and ears.
We do not forget the betrayals of those who should serve us.
The government should expect us.