APIC website reveals IDs, passwords of officials
In order to prove that the Andhra Pradesh Information Commission (APIC) is working in a too transparent manner, the website of the commission...
Ongole: In order to prove that the Andhra Pradesh Information Commission (APIC) is working in a too transparent manner, the website of the commission revealed all registration IDs of the officials and their password to the public. The Central Information Commission is running a website www.cic.gov.in and allows the people to submit an appeal or file a complaint through it.
The CIC updates news, events, status of various appeals and complaints on the website for the easy access of the public. Similarly, the Andhra Pradesh state Information Commission has also launched a websitewww.apic.gov.in.
The commission advised the public information officers of various levels at the government offices also upload the details of requests they are receiving on a regular basis so that the applicants can track the status of their applications. It asked the information officers to process the requests by replying online and enter the data of the same if replied offline.
For this, the commission assigned registration IDs to the registered officers (who are authorised to upload and deal with information on the site) as per their departments and instructed them to use the credentials on the website.
But, the State Information Commission, which did not function for a long time after the bifurcation of the Andhra Pradesh, took the extreme step of revealing the password of the usernames of most of the officials. As per the information available on the website, the password of all users are reset as guest.
Also, the commission might have thought that it is hard for the public or person in need to know the registration ID of the required officer. So, it has provided information about all registered information officers of all departments in all districts along with their designation, office address and mobile number.
As per the Right to Information Act, there are certain guidelines and timeframes fixed by the government. But any person who knows the username or registration ID of the information officer, can log in with username and password as guest, change the password and access all data including modifying or deleting any applications seeking information that could damage him or any other persons in that department.
This will affect the implementation of the RTI Act and damage the spirit of right to information. The availability of the username and password of the officials in the public domain also makes them responsible for any misuse of the website by people with mala fide intent.
The Hans India used one username and password with ethical intentions only to show the vulnerability of the APIC website. Responding to a question on the use of the APIC website, a senior official in the Prakasam district said that the website was launched in the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, but not all departments are using it. The officer said that it was the fault of the technical department to put the password in open and he will take the issue to the persons concerned.