Ayushman Kaul of ‘Tek Fog fame’ could also be behind censoring BJP Twitter supporters4 min read
On Thursday (March 2), a brand new tranche of ‘Twitter Files’ was launched, which revealed how the US-based Digital Forensic Research (DFR) Lab wished to censor Twitter handles, allegedly related to ‘Hindu nationalism’, and significantly with the BJP.
An analyst named Andy Carvin wrote to high Twitter executives on June 8, 2021, “Hi guys. Attached you will find… around 40k Twitter accounts that our researchers suspect are engaging in inauthentic behaviour… and Hindu nationalism more broadly.”
The DFR Lab analyst flagged over 40,000 accounts, claiming that they have been paid workers/ unpaid volunteers of India’s largest get together, specifically, the BJP.
3. DFRLab mentioned it suspected 40,000 accounts of being “paid employees or possibly volunteers” of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
But the record was stuffed with strange Americans, many with no connection to India and no clue about Indian politics. https://t.co/B5L8KsY6ZH pic.twitter.com/vqijzp9BR2
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) March 2, 2023
Opindia had discovered that a minimum of 66 distinguished and verified Indian Twitter handles have been despatched by US-funded Digital Forensic Research (DFR) Lab to the highest executives of the social media large for censorship. And the explanation cited by the organisation was that they have been related to the BJP and the reason for Hindu Nationalism.
Interestingly, the timing of the inner communications coincides with the tenure of a controversial determine named Ayuhsman Kaul because the South Asia analysis analyst of DFRLab. According to his LinkedIn Profile, Ayushman Kaul was working as South Asia Research Analyst on the Digital Forensic Research Lab from April 2019 to January 2022, the place he labored on “Monitoring disinformation, influence operations and hostile interference in the regional information environment. Particular focus on intersection of security, democracy and cyber space.”
Screengrab of the LinkedIn profile of Ayushman Kaul
This has left social media customers speculating whether or not he was the one behind making ready the record of Twitter handles allegedly linked to Hindu Nationalism and the ruling BJP dispensation.
Popular Twitter person, Alok Bhat, knowledgeable, “Most likely it was based on the work done by Ayushman Kaul and released by DFR a few days prior to sending of this email.”
It have to be talked about that in May 2021 (two months earlier than the Twitter e mail alternate), Kaul printed a Medium weblog put up alleging the function of a Toronto-based PR agency in supposedly selling narratives supporting the Modi authorities.
Here is that tweet https://t.co/bJRrifENJt
— Alok Bhatt (@alok_bhatt) March 3, 2023
Popular Twitter deal with ‘The Hawk Eye’ additionally questioned the function of Ayushman Kaul in creating successful record of BJP supporters and Hindu nationalists for the Digital Forensic Research (DFR) Lab.
#BREAKING: #TwitterFiles17 revealed that Atlantic Council’s DFRLab despatched a listing of 40K twitter handles to Twitter1.0 Yoel Roth in Jun’21, which might be “pro Hindu Nationalist” in a bid to (assuming) prohibit them.
This analysis was almost definitely achieved by Abhinav Kaul from DFRLab..
— The Hawk Eye (@thehawkeyex) March 2, 2023
Ayushman Kaul and the malicious Tek Fog story
Ayushman Kaul is a senior analyst at Logically.ai, a doubtful web site that has been concerned within the anti-India narrative. Based out of London, Kaul had collaborated with The Wire on many tech-related initiatives, together with the one on Tek Fog, a doubtful, non-existent app, in January 2022, together with Devesh Kumar, the person behind the pretend Meta story printed on Wire.
During Tek Fog reporting, Ayushman and Devesh did ‘Ask Me Anything (also called AMA)’ classes on YouTube and Reddit to reply questions in regards to the reviews. Those AMA classes are nonetheless accessible to test.
Kaul has contributed to a number of tales on The Wire reminiscent of “What the SOS Tweets Tell us About the Second Wave of COVID-19”, “Tek Fog: An App With BJP Footprints for Cyber Troops to Automate Hate, Manipulate Trends”, and “Anonymous Complainant Targeting Zubair Tweet Linked to Tek Fog App, BJYM Leader in Gujarat”.
In truth, Devesh and Kaul together with The Wire’s Naomi Barton had claimed how Alt News co-founder Mohammed Zubair was ‘attacked’ on-line utilizing Tek Fog, an excellent app which doesn’t exist as evidenced later. The Wire needed to withdraw all these tales.
In November 2022, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) printed a report citing the ‘dubious’ Tek Fog allegation as an instance of a lack of spiritual freedom in India.
Ayushman Kaul, as per his LinkedIn account, now works as a Senior Analyst at Logically. He joined the corporate in January 2022. In May final yr, OpIndia defined how Logically was concerned in sponsoring an anti-India stunt occasion the place Rahul Gandhi was one of many visitor audio system.