Planet-scale influence operation strikes at the heart of polarised Indian polity – Part I

TL;DR: The largest known foreign disinformation network targeting India. Iranian in origin, possibly operated via a front in Pakistan. May have physical presence in India. Garnered hundreds of thousands of social media impressions. Legitimised by the top leaders of mainstream political parties in the opposition.

Edit, December 3rd, 2018: My opinion piece for The Tribune, briefly mentioning this investigation of the Iranian disinformation network targeting India. These articles are my regular outreach and appeal to the public.

Edit, February 15th, 2019: Read the Part IIAyatollah Khomeini’s ‘soft war’ hits the Indian hinterland. I attribute the influence operation to an arm of the Iranian state and flag a few persons of interest.

Continue reading “Planet-scale influence operation strikes at the heart of polarised Indian polity – Part I”

Why 2019 Indian general election is likely to be influenced by foreign cyber actors

26th November, 2018: My ominous prophecy turned out to be true. But I could have never imagined Iran meddling like this. Read, Planet-scale influence operation strikes at the heart of polarised Indian polity.

Please challenge this hypothesis. I would like to be rebutted and told that this is just the work of my grandiose imagination.

India has been a hotbed of disinformation since the Cold War. Former R&AW chief Vikram Sood chronicles its history in his new book The Unending Game. He narrates how the KGB had “ten Indian newspapers and one news agency on their payroll and thousands of articles were planted.”

Legendary black ops specialist Bahukutumbi Raman had also recorded the scale of Soviet subversion, assessing the information gleamed from the Mitrokhin Archive.

Continue reading “Why 2019 Indian general election is likely to be influenced by foreign cyber actors”