In a move that threatens the privacy of over a million internet users in India, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has released the list of email IDs from which it received responses regarding net neutrality.
Trai on March 27 had put up a consultation paper on its website asking users to give their views on net neutrality in India. The last day to vote for the campaign was April 24. The list is published on its website and has emails categorized by date; the data is available for all dates between March 27 and April 24, except April 14 and 15. The document can also be searched via keywords.
The regulatory body says that it has received large number of comments from the stakeholders on its Consultation paper on “Regulatory Framework for OTT services”. So to aid the reading of comments, it has divided them into three blocks — ‘comments from the service providers‘, ‘comments from the service providers’ association’ and ‘comments from other stakeholders’ (this includes individuals, organizations, consulting firms etc).
It further asks stakeholders to send their counter comments to [email protected] by including ‘counter comments’ in the subject of the email.
This move has led to widespread criticism of Trai, slamming the organization for making it easy for spammers to get a huge database of email IDs in one fell swoop.
The consultation paper on net neutrality asked the public a total of 20 questions about the topic and whether OTT services like WhatsApp and Skype should pay extra for data consumed by users.
Here’s how you can spot your email address if you emailed TRAI for #netneutrality:
Go to to the official TRAI website link http://trai.gov.in/Comments/Comments-List003.pdf where you can see a list of dates. Click on any one of them, and you’ll be lead to a spreadsheet of emails and their corresponding email addresses. We looked for India’s most common name – Neha.
Net neutrality implies that all websites and services should be treated equal and there should be no discrimination in terms of speed and cost of access. This means that a telco can’t block a certain website (because of commercial or other interests) or promote one service over the other.
It also means that an internet provider or telco cannot throttle speeds for one service or charge extra. Indian mobile operators say that they have made big infrastructure investments in creating networks and OTT players are getting a free run.
(Originally published in the Times of India | With inputs from Kunal Anand, Indiatimes)