One of the most talked about mass movements online in India came to an end as the 24 April deadline was crossed. In a short span, more than a million emails were sent to TRAI regarding the consultation paper on OTT services and net neutrality. TRAI had set April 24 as the deadline for people to make submissions on the consultation paper on the topic.
Most of the responses sent to TRAI were via Savetheinternet.in — a site created by a few proponents of net neutrality in India. Unwittingly, TRAI has exposed email address of all those who had submitted their responses and made them publicly available for spammers to scrape.
Apart from a campaign on social media and FM radio, AIB had also released a video about net neutrality and the consequences if TRAI succumbs to telecom operators demands. At the end of the video, AIB had asked viewers to sign up on savetheinternet.in and tweet using #SaveTheInternet. People were directed to the home page of ‘savetheinternet.in‘ where all of TRAI s 20 questions were answered in detail. One could send an email with the pre-written answers by a single click or could edit the replies and send it.
The net neutrality debate began after Indian telecom operators urged to TRAI to change certain regulations related to OTT services like WhatsApp, Skype, Vibes and others, which would have enabled carriers to bucket the Internet and charge differentially for different services.
Thanks to TRAI, spammers and database sellers now have email ids of a cohort of 1M+ Indians who (largely) support #NetNeutrality.
Rohin Dharmakumar (@r0h1n) April 27, 2015
Don’t know whether to laugh or weep. Every person who has sent an email to TRAI has their email address listed here http://t.co/97An6vtsTJ
Kaus (@thewisecrab) April 27, 2015