Flash Network Slaps Notice on Airtel ‘Secret Code’ Whistle Blower

Thejesh G.N., a Bangalore-based developer who blowed the whistle on Bharti Airtel move to employ the Israeli-based Flash Networks, faced a legal notice from the firm and countered them sending a notice for silencing him with such notices and demanding an unconditional apology. [See original story]

On June 3, Thejesh had tweeted that Airtel was using Flash Networks code via Ericsson to observe the web browsing behaviour of its users and soon it was withdrawn by the telecom operator. Flash Networks based in Herzliya, meanwhile, sent a legal notice saying its proprietary code was exposed and alleging that it was a criminal offence.

Airtel-LogoAirtel, however, distanced itself saying, “we are surprised at the cease & desist notice served by Flash Networks to Thejesh”. It had defended about the code injection saying it was a standard practice around the world by telcos to help their customers keep track of their data usage in terms of mega bytes used.

Meanwhile, thejesh’s lawyer Lawrence Liang explained how Thejesh discovered the malicious code and why it is not a copyright infringement, rather a fundamental right to know as a consumer and in the national interest.

Liang further claimed that the notice has led to “misleading visitors to my client’s website and its functionality thereby substantively affecting the reputation and goodwill that Thejesh has earned through years of expertise and service.”

However, Rohin Dharmakumar @r0h1n tweeted saying that the Israeli firm Flash Networks “enables mobile operators to intercept their subscriber’s browsing, and insert their own content/ads.”

Flash Networks says this code provides TSPs to “communicate with their subscribers as they browse the web, and to offer them services that generate new downstream revenues from over-the-top affiliations.”


The final question comes to Net Neutrality. If not found by Thejesh, it could have helped Airtel to offer revenue sharing model with those who accept TSP-linked ads and other information as they browse.

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