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Case against IT firm that manufactured TDP app for ‘data theft,’ raids

Hyderabad| A case was registered by the Telangana Police against a city-based IT firm for allegedly “stealing” data of voters through the ‘Seva Mitra’ mobile application, which was used by the TDP in Andhra Pradesh.

Reacting to the development, Andhra Pradesh Information Technology Minister N Lokesh said Telangana Police was “harassing” the companies that were hired to curate the information whose complete rights were held by the party.

Based on a complaint from a data analyst, a case was registered against the firm on Saturday, under relevant sections of the IPC and the IT Act, police said.

The searches, which began Saturday, continued for the second day Sunday, they added.

The complainant alleged that after logging into the official Facebook page of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), he found party cadres using certain mobile phone and tab-based software applications, especially ‘Seva Mitra’ app, for “advancing the party’s electoral prospects”.

The Andhra Pradesh government utilised the services of the firm in the implementation of government schemes, he said in the complaint.

He alleged that the firm was given access to an enormous amount of official data with respect to the beneficiaries of various government schemes and also private data of individuals, including their Aadhaar numbers.

“Following registration of a case, police conducted searches (Saturday). The searches are going on today also,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (Madhapur Division) N Shyam Prasad Rao told PTI.

He, however, declined to share any further details, saying the matter was under investigation.

Reacting to the searches conducted by Telangana Police, Lokesh in a tweet said, “They are trying hard to steal the information of registered party members and Seva Mitras. The Telangana Police is harassing the companies that have been hired to curate the information whose complete rights are held by the (TDP) party.”

Meanwhile, a report from Amaravati said that Chief Minister and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu conferred with the state Advocate General Dammalapati Srinivas there Sunday evening to discuss the case and possible pre-emptive action that his government could take.

A key TDP leader in the know of things said “We are also exploring other legal options. The Chief Minister discussed all this with the Advocate General,” he said on condition of anonymity.

TDP ministers and legislators took turns Sunday to cry foul over the case and blame Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and YSRC president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy for hatching a ‘joint political conspiracy’ against Chandrababu Naidu.

The TDP has alleged that the TRS government was ‘robbing’ its data to help the YSR Congress party, on whose original complaint police had registered the case.

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