‘Journalist’ compromises security by revealing names and ID of IB officials, deletes later

Revealing identity of intelligence operators amounts to compromising national security

A shocking incidence has come to light where a journalist was caught compromising with national security in the mad race of ‘breaking news’. The ‘journalist’ in question is Swati Chaturvedi, who is more famous as an abusive troll and propaganda peddler.

On the morning of 25th October, guards at the resident of CBI director Alok Verma had caught four persons over snooping suspicion. And it was revealed that the four persons were Intelligence Bureau officials. Just a day before, Verma was sent on leave by central government pending enquiries into allegations against him, and in that context, it had become a controversial subject as Verma camp was quick to allege that government was using IB to spy on Verma.

One of the first persons to make the allegation was Swati Chaturvedi, who had sent this tweet in the morning.

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Later two more persons were caught, and after some time media outlets began to report the incident.

But just posting the news was not enough for Swati, she had to prove that she has inside access to Delhi Police who had caught the persons. To do that, she posted a photograph of a handwritten piece of paper with sensitive information like names, designation, ID card number, the validity period of cards, Aadhaar card number and other details of the four IB personnel. She also boasted that she in possession of card numbers of the personnel, and directly accused that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was snooping on Alok Verma.

Later, IB had confirmed that the four persons are indeed from IB, but they were not on any operation, but on a routine patrol. That’s the reason they were carrying Identity Cards. The Janpath is a very high-security area and it is part of IB’s job to keep a vigil on the area.

Around an after the tweet, Swati deleted the tweet with the photograph of the document. Perhaps realising her blunder, or someone else had alerted her about it. But before the tweet disappeared from the timeline of her followers, but as the addage goes, what’s once on the internet can never be erased.

The now deleted tweet by Swati

Later, the same picture was posted by several journalists, but after blacking out some details like names and ID card numbers. But as some people like to steal tweets instead of retweeting them, some users copied the image and began to post it from their Twitter accounts. While some people later deleted such tweets, few are still available on Twitter.

It is important to note that revealing such information with regard to IB personnel is detrimental to national security. The job of IB officials is to keep a close eye on terror suspects in India, and to do this their identity must be kept confidential. In the United States of America, it is actually a federal crime to reveal the identity of a covert agent. Such laws exist in many other countries.

If someone is revealed as a spy in public, that person can no longer work as a spy, because potential targets will take precaution if they see the official. Thus, with just one tweet, Swati Chaturvedi may have rendered the four IB officials unfit for field operations, and they may have to be shifted to a desk job now.

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