Why Ankit Fadia As Brand Ambassador May Do More Harm Than Good for Digital India Mission
After a series of flip-flops, Indian Govt. finally admitted that Ankit Fadia is indeed a brand ambassador for Digital India mission; albeit only for a year. Being a brand ambassador for an important mission like Digital India is a indeed a big deal. But unfortunately, appointing Ankit Fadia may be a bad decision.
Ankit Fadia: An Overview
32 year old Ankit, a self proclaimed ethical hacker, rose to ‘fame’ when he was just 15 years old. He wrote a book on Ethical Hacking, which became a best seller and suddenly, everyone was aware of this ‘child prodigy’.
Later, he stared hacking courses for corporate, jumped into IT Security domain, claimed that he was working with Microsoft in USA (which was denied), did a show on MTV and basically became a pop-celebrity inside India.
Why Ankit Fadia Is A Bad Choice For Digital India
A brand ambassador is supposed to inspire and encourage others regarding the ‘cause’ which he is promoting. As per the certificate issued to him by Indian Govt., Ankit is expected to promote and propagate products and applications which are launched under Digital India vision.
But when his own work is accused of being plagiarized, when 80% of his claims are fake, and when he couldn’t save his own website from being hacked (not once, but twice), how can he actually inspire others for Digital India?
Here are some reasons, which should be noticed by Indian Govt., and make them think hard about this decision:
- His first book, “Unofficial Guide to Ethical Hacking” was 32% plagiarized, word to word, without giving any credit to the original source.
- In 2002, he claimed that he had defaced the home page of CHIP magazine, and due to this dare-devil act, CHIP magazine have offered him a job there. Charles Assisi, who was the Editor of CHIP magazine that time, denied any such happening. He verified it with both of his predecessor and successor.
- Same year, he claimed that he stopped Kashmiri separatists from defacing an Indian Govt. website. He claimed that he eavesdropped on their online conversations, and sent all proofs to a US spy agency. No evidence was found, and no proofs were shared by Ankit.
- In 2012, DEF CON awarded Ankit with the title of “Security Charlatan of the Year” award, due to huge plagiarism found in his works, and empty claims of hacking brilliance, which was rejected by them.
- Same year, his own website was hacked twice, which was done solely to prove that his claims are baseless.
There dozens of articles and reports, which can convince even a 15 year old teenager that what Ankit has actually done is brilliant branding of himself, using false, misleading claims of hacking brilliance.
We are actually surprised that our Govt. failed to take notice of so many negative reports regarding him, before assigning brand ambassador. We sincerely hope that for next year, Indian Govt. is able to discover genuine, path-breakers and leaders of Digital India, who can actually inspire others; not fool them.