The Army has cautioned its officials against 150 fake social media profiles that are being used by “adversaries” to honey-trap and extract sensitive information, sources said on Thursday. They said that an advisory was sent to Army personnel last month to make them aware of the “trap”. An official said people using fake social media profiles have been trying to engage with Army personnel by pretending to be fellow Army officers, police personnel or even posing as women. “The profiles are generally two-three years old. So, they do not raise suspicion and appear authentic. It is then that they started targeting,” the official added. On Wednesday, Rajasthan Police's intelligence unit arrested an Army jawan, who was honey-trapped by an agent of Pakistan's ISI, for allegedly sharing confidential and strategic information. He was targeted through Facebook and WhatsApp, they added.
Over the past few days, debates on Twitter — both about the microblogging site's allegedly arbitrary rules in verifying accounts as also blocking some Twitter handles for allegedly posting content that flouts its norms — has seen several users moving to Mastodon. On Thursday, the Congress party debuted on Mastodon as @firstname.lastname@example.org. The handle had a photograph of party president Sonia Gandhi with the slogan "Sach Bharat" (true India). Mastodon claims to be a free and open-source self-hosted social networking service. While similar to Twitter and Weibo in most of its features, Mastodon is different since it is not centrally hosted, which allows each operating server its own code of conduct, terms of service, and moderation policies. Users can choose a server with policies they agree with or leave a server that has policies they disagree with without losing access to Mastodon's social network.
Keeping a close watch
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is keeping a close eye on its MLAs in Madhya Pradesh. State chief minister Kamal Nath had told party workers recently that the Congress party would increase its strength in the state Assembly by adding at least two more MLAs. The BJP has taken his words seriously and has asked its organisational office-bearers to be in touch with its MLAs, especially with those MLAs who have criminal cases against them. The party has asked them to send updates about such cases. At least 30 BJP MLAs have more than 60 criminal cases registered against them. The party is afraid that the Congress would use these cases as a lever to pressurise these legislators. The party lost the Jhabua by-election recently and another MLA, Prahlad Lodhi, was disqualified following his conviction in a criminal case.