Modi Government’s Digital India Scheme Sparks Controversy: Citizens Paying the Price

Union Minister Falls Prey to Sextortion: Delhi Police and FBI Issue Crucial ‘Alerts

The Digital India scheme, initiated on July 3, 2015, is touted as the Modi Government’s flagship endeavor, promising to catapult India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge-driven economy. With a whopping estimated cost of 1.13 lakh crore, the program’s supposed aim is to grant every Indian citizen access to digital empowerment while eradicating the hassles of paperwork and offering government services electronically.

However, as the government zealously champions digitalization, it’s crucial to address the numerous pitfalls and concerns that accompany this rapid transformation.

Digitalization and Its Disastrous Fallout

Delhi Police arrested two men from Bharatpur, Rajasthan, for making ‘sextortion calls’ to Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel. They called him after he answered a WhatsApp video call from an unknown number. During the call, they showed a pornographic video to blackmail him. Luckily, the minister ended the call and told the police. This isn’t an isolated incident – sextortion is on the rise with the popularity of video calls.

The FBI also warned about sextortion. They said criminals are using artificial intelligence to create explicit images to scare and extort people. They’ve seen more victims being targeted with fake images taken from online posts, private messages, or video chats.

In the midst of this digital transformation, here are essential pointers for individuals to protect themselves in an increasingly perilous digital realm:

Keep your social handles private

Guard Your Privacy: Safeguard your online presence with secure passwords, multi-factor authentication, and stringent privacy settings.

Never share intimate photos online

Never Share Personal or Compromising Images with anyone, regardless of who they are or what they claim.

Cover Your Webcam: If your device lacks a built-in cover, resort to low-tech solutions such as stickers or tape to protect your webcam.

Lock your profile photos

Lock your profile photos: Apply privacy settings on social media accounts—including setting profiles and your friends lists as private—to limit the public exposure of your photos, videos, and other personal information

Do not accept video calls from strangers​

Exercise Online Caution: Reject video calls and abstain from sharing personal content with strangers, all while remaining vigilant against unsolicited requests and manipulation tactics.

Know who you are talking to online

Document Your Interactions: Preserve all exchanges with potential blackmailers, recognizing the importance of these records in potential legal proceedings.

Unmasking the unintended outcomes of “DIGITAL INDIA”

Digital Transformation: The Digital India program promises a digital transformation of India. Yet, as the nation embraces this change, apprehensions about data security and privacy cast a long shadow over the digital utopia envisioned by the government.

High-Speed Internet in Rural Areas: While extending high-speed internet networks to rural areas seems commendable, the security and reliability of these networks in regions vulnerable to cyber threats should be a prime concern.

Monitoring and Implementation: The program falls under the purview of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (Deity) and is executed by the government. This requires a robust system for effective monitoring and implementation, one that can guard against the misuse of digital resources and burgeoning cybercrimes.

Advisory and Oversight: The program’s management structure involves committees like the Monitoring Committee on Digital India, the Digital India Advisory Group, and the Apex Committee. Their roles are pivotal in steering the program, addressing challenges, and securing its success.

In conclusion, as India hurtles into the digital age, the need for proactive cybersecurity measures and conscientious digital conduct looms larger than ever. The Digital India scheme, with its alluring promises, must be complemented with comprehensive awareness, education, and robust security measures to shield citizens from the perils of this rapidly evolving digital landscape.

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