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Cyber war erupts between Congress and BJP

By Vicky Nanjappa
October 03, 2010 14:32 IST
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A cyber war has broken out between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress after the former claimed that a website by the name was redirecting to the website of the All India Congress Committee.

The BJP, in its notice, has said that they had seen a dip in the traffic of their official website and this prompted them to investigate into the matter.

When they probed into the matter they found that the Congress had allegedly purchased a website by the name and was diverting it to their original website.

A key member of the BJP's IT cell told that it has been found that the original website belonged to Bharat Janata Prakashan and it was purchased by the Congress.

Although they may have a right over the website, the intention was to harm the party's website, the BJP IT cell member claimed.

The Congress is, however, mum and say that they will give a reply when they get the notice.

They claim that there was no intention to harm any party or its website and it must have been pure co-incidence.

However, today when one enters the website it directs him/her to a Google page, which gives an indication that the mistake had been rectified following the legal notice.

The BJP's legal cell says that they will pursue the matter.

"We are fully aware that was purchased a couple of months ago by someone and the traffic was intentionally diverted. This was been done to play a prank on the party's website," he said.

"We realised this only recently and due to this mischief our website took a major hit. I know today it does not redirect to the AICC page and this action I am sure was taken only after our legal notice. Someone in the Congress must have woken up to avoid legal complications. However, this is not any ground for us to give up the fight and based on the legal opinion that will follow soon, we have also decided to file a police complaint."

Pavan Duggal, an expert in cyber laws, says that if the BJP is able to prove its case then the offender can face up to 3 months imprisonment coupled with a Rs 5 lakh fine under the Information Technology Act of 2000.

The legal notice has been sent, as there has been a deliberate attempt to divert Internet traffic, which was legitimately aimed at the BJP.

The BJP has a legal remedy in this case and the courts have in several cases held that such dishonest exercises aimed at taking away Internet traffic are punishable.

The BJP sure has a case on hand even if the Congress claims that they had purchased the original website.

Search engines normally pick up a website with .com and in this case the .com website did not even belong to the BJP. However, as a result of this, a lot of traffic meant for the BJP would have gone to the Congress website.

The BJP, in this case, would require to prove that the website had an inclination or a nexus with its website. Even if the Congress has managed to rectify it now, the BJP can still prove and fight the case on the basis that for a certain amount of time traffic meant for its site was being diverted to the AICC website and this is a dishonest practice and hence be punishable under the IT.

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Vicky Nanjappa