Flip-flop over “ethical hacker” Ankit Fadia as ‘Digital India’ ambassador

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ campaign has evoked yet another controversy. This time over the appointment of a brand ambassador for the campaign.

The self-proclaimed “ethical hacker” Ankit Fadia who rumored that he has been named as the brand ambassador for the Digital India campaign, although a statement by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology denied any such claims.

Meanwhile, Ankit also shared a picture of the event on his Facebook account and captioned it as, “Selfie before the event”.

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The report said, “There were certain news reports that there is a move to appoint a brand ambassador for ‘Digital India’ programme of the government. This is to clarify that there has been no such move to appoint a brand ambassador as reported.”

Curiously, an hour after the post on the government’s publicity website, it was withdrawn.

When asked for a response, a spokesperson for the department said, “It was posted inadvertently by one of our officials without securing proper sanction. We will get back to you by evening with the actual position.”

Fadia, who shot to fame when he was all of 15 with his book ‘Unofficial Guide to Ethical Hacking’, stood his ground and said the appointment letter was issued on 1 July and signed by then IT secretary Ram Sewak Sharma, now chairman of the telecom watchdog.

“Yes! I posted the certificate on Facebook yesterday. I have emails from government as proof as well,” Fadia told IANS in an SMS. The said post on Facebook alluded to his claims, pointing out that he had been retained for a period of one year to propagate products and applications.

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His Facebook post also said, “Humbled and honored to be appointed as one of the brand ambassadors to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ initiative.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Facebook sought to clarify on another controversy over ‘Digital India’-in terms of the support for the initiative reportedly sought by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. Critics on social media felt it also implied support for the much-criticised Internet.org initiative.

 

(IANS)

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