‘Tek fog’ app a threat to national security: Derek O’Brien

New Delhi, Jan 10 (IANS) Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha member Derek O’Brien has written a letter to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs requesting for a meeting to discuss the “Tek Fog” app which he termed a “threat” to national security and privacy of citizens.

Alleging that through the app, social media trends are being manipulated, O’Brien on Monday said there was an urgent need to discuss this “manipulation” of social media. This happens to be his second letter to Congress leader and panel chief Anand Sharma in the matter.

Citing a news report, the MP said that some people associated with BJP’s IT cell used to send messages to people through inactive WhatsApp accounts and control the social media trends. All this was done with the help of “Tek Fog” app, he claimed.

Not just this, messages containing spyware were sent to people through the app to hack their accounts or phones. The app messages were also sent from phones that were not in use anymore, he added.

O’Brien said as per reports, the app is capable of sending automatic messages to WhatsApp groups or any private number.

The app, he alleged, can also modify existing news articles and their links, styling the fake news articles. Some technologies have been created by companies such as OpenAL and Salesforce, which have expertise in artificial intelligence.

The application can spread misinformation on social media though fake news, mislead individual citizens and manipulate political narratives, he added.

“Since the Tek Fog app is a threat to national security, the rights of expression and free media besides the privacy and security of citizens, I request you to convene a meeting of the Standing Committee,” the letter stated.