Indian politicians may have embraced Digital India but may have ignored the fact that with great powers come great responsibilities.
A lot of Indian politicians and parties have their own websites but it would be shocking to learn the fact that over four-fifth of Indian politicians don’t have secured websites.
Another shocking fact is that India’s cyber security is a joke. India is one of the least cyber safe countries in the world.
CYBER SECURITY’S GOT NOTHING ON INDIAN POLITICIANS
A study conducted by Comparitech — a network, security and privacy services portal — has revealed that 84 per cent of Indian politicians do not have a secured website whereas the global average is 60 per cent.
The recent hacking of the secured official website of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) only underlines the current perilous state of affairs.
Comparitech conducted an assessment of personal websites of 7,500 politicians across the world, including 217 Indian politicians.
The study was conducted between November, 2018, and March 6, 2019, across 37 countries.
HTTPS: WHAT’S THAT FOR INDIAN POLITICIANS?
According to the study, a website is considered not secured if it doesn’t have the HTTPS protection. The HTTPS verifies authenticity of a website or differentiates between genuine and fake websites.
Without the HTTPS security, users can fall prey to hackers.
The study also maintained that “obtaining an SSL certificate and implementing HTTPS is neither difficult nor expensive, so politicians have little excuse for not properly securing their sites”.
HOW DOES INDIA FARE?
The percentage of politicians having a personal website is low in India, according to the study.
The study scanned 887 Indian politicians of whom only 217 have a personal website, which is hardly 24 per cent. Of the 217, the BJP has the highest number of politicians (130) who have a personal website.
A total of 182 (84 per cent) Indian politicians don’t have a secured website.
The study showed that the average percentage of politicians in developing countries not having a secured website is 74.98 per cent.
Of the 217 politicians having a personal website, 130 were from the BJP, 23 were from Congress, nine were from Shiv Sena, eight were from Telugu Desam Party (TDP), five All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), another five were from Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and the rest were from other smaller parties.
The BJP has the highest number of politicians (110) who don’t have a secure website, the study showed. This was followed by the Indian National Congress whose 17 politicians don’t have a secured website. Among others, eight Shiv Sena leaders, six TDP, five TMC and four TRS politicians don’t have a secured website.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani are among those who have a secured personal website.
Ironically, Information and Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad doesn’t have a secured personal website.
Vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu, Union minister Nitin Gadkari, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, MoS Sports Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor are among many others who don’t have a secured website.
WHAT THE IT CELL HEADS SAY
Congress IT Cell head Divya Spandana said the IT Cell does not manage the personal websites of all Congress leaders.
“We have taken enough security measures to protect the websites of Rahul Gandhi and INC, however, personal websites of politicians are not managed by us,” Spandana said.
Amit Malviya, head of the BJP IT Cell, told India Today TV that he couldn’t comment on individual cases.
THE BEST AND WORST PERFORMERS AROUND THE GLOBE
South Korea, whose internet speed is one of the fastest in the world, has the maximum percentage of its politicians having an unsecured website. Around 92.31 per cent of its politicians have a website that is not secured.
Poland (91.16 per cent), Hungary (90.91 per cent), Canada (86.25 per cent) and Malta (86.21 per cent) followed the list of politicians who don’t have a secured website.
The United States has the least percentage of politicians who have an unsecured website (26.22 per cent) followed by the United Kingdom (30.65 per cent), Germany (31.92 per cent), Australia (37.44 per cent) and Denmark (41.3 per cent).
Going by absolute numbers, Japan has the highest number of politicians (597) who don’t have a secured website.
In November 2018, the Japanese cybersecurity minister Yoshitaka Sakurada had admitted that he had never used a computer.