Data Breach: Andhra Pradesh constitutes a Special Investigation Team

A 9-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been set up to probe into the data breach issue following a complaint by the ruling Telugu Desam in Amaravati. The Telugu Desam Party lodged a counter complaint alleging that the case was a conspiracy hatched by the YSR Congress and police of Telangana to steal data belonging to Andhra Pradesh. 
Meanwhile, the Telangana government said that sensitive data of neighbouring AP was found in possession of the Hyderabad-based IT Grids company, against which a complaint was registered. It also set up an SIT to probe into the case and it was found that data related to their state was also in possession of the private company.
The SIT, headed by Additional DGP-rank IPS officer N. Balasubrahmanyam, took over two cases filed by Hyderabad and Cyberabad police against IT Grids, for ‘theft of data’.  “We are investigating into the need behind stealing TS information. We are trying to understand how they got the information. We suspect that the info was manipulated,” IG of Police (West Zone ) Stephen Ravindra, who also heads the Telangana SIT, said, adding that Telangana police has jurisdiction to look into the cases.
The private firm was entrusted the job of designing Seva Mitra app by the TDP to streamline its cadre. However, a complaint filed by T. Lokeshwar Reddy, a data analyst, stated that the company got access to vital information of several people, who are natives of AP but settled in Hyderabad.
During investigation, the TS police found that IT Grids got illegal access to information like Aadhaar, electoral roll, government schemes and voter information relating to different political parties, which could likely be misused.
Ravindra said that the case is complex and needs careful probe to zero in on the key accused. He also said that they issued a Look Out Circular (LOC) on the CEO of the firm, D. Ashok. Four teams were formed to nab him as he failed to appear before the Cyberabad police despite being summoned.
Telugu Desam Party  AP unit president Kala Venkat Rao, in his complaint, alleged that the case was a conspiracy by the YSR Congress and TS government to steal their party information.
According to the complaint, the objective of the complaint was to cripple the activities of TD and improve the winning prospects of the YSRC. He also alleged that the YSRC and TS officials tried to create requests for en masse deletion of names from voters’ lists. The requests were generated from the same IP address.
AP Principal Secretary (Home) A.R. Anuradha said the probe needs a lot of technical expertise and that the Andhra Pradesh’s SIT includes four IPS officers.

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