Meghalaya sees a rise in hacktivism

As state moves towards digitalization, hackers are figures that embody both peril and promise

Joseph M. Kharkongor

Are public disclosures necessary for transparency? Should hackers be allowed to penetrate computer systems to uncover the truth? Should publishing leaked documents be a crime? What should be considered ‘right’ and what should be considered ‘ethical’? These are gigantic philosophical questions going decades into history.


For some, hackers are venal perpetrators of cyber-terrorism and a sinister threat to cyber security structures. For others, they’re explorers with substantial computer skills who serve as advocates for the public good. Here in Meghalaya, one in particular has been the talk of the town and constantly on the police radar for various hacking crimes. But it wasn’t long before his pranks took on a larger and more meaningful significance. From breaking into the MHA’s “foolproof” computer systems to steal secrets to taking over social media accounts to expose shameless preachers and politicians; this digital outlaw has disclosed evidence of wrongdoings of great substance. Three of such disclosures are mentioned in this article.

Police Abuse of Power: In March this year, the Meghalaya Police Department was left red-faced after this Shillong-based computer hacker exposed them for committing various IT crimes such as stealing personal photos from social media accounts of people including those of a man from Cambodia (name withheld) and using them without the consent or knowledge of the owner(s) to create fake accounts on platforms like Telegram. This came to light after the hacker had dumped redacted portions of the evidence in a dark web forum; including these:,,,,,,,, and

No, the codes aren’t combinations to a personal locker nor belong to a nuclear bunker; these string of numbers separated by periods are actually IP addresses used by the MLP’s cyber cell teams from Laitumkhrah, Nongthymmai and Tura to covertly spy on innocent civilians’ internet activities. Yes, the MLP is now poking its incredibly large nose into innocent civilians’ private lives too; hijacking their web browsers, monitoring their social media accounts, viewing their phone gallery, remotely accessing their phone cameras and much much more.

Thou shalt not tempt the Hacker: In mid-June, screengrabs of obscene chats between pastors and sex workers were published on the same forum; spelling out the shocking reality of churches in Meghalaya. This shocking disclosure compelled us to question, how can our pastors fall so low? When is it ever ok to commit adultery? And how can one be so stupid, rather daring to exchange nude photos and personal sex videos on unencrypted social media platforms?

I am not writing on this painful subject as an expert but as someone who has repeatedly been exposed to such eye-catching material for a long time and who has learnt a great deal about it too. Never in living memory have pastors from our Ri Tip-Briew Tip-Blei been as thoroughly exposed as idiots. And this leak, I fear is just the tip of the iceberg.

When the RTI has failed us: As the government digitizes more and more documents, technological advances have made it possible for hackers to gain access and acquire them. On the last week of October 2022, extremely distributing never-before-seen images of skeletal remains dumped inside a cave in a remote village situated at Meghalaya’s Indo-Bangla border extracted from the private email account of an insanely corrupt MHA official had sent chills up to everyone’s spine.

Going through the graphic images, I cannot help but wonder, how safe are we in our own land when violence knows no borders? Violence is a severe problem in the borders of Meghalaya; domestic violence and child abuse in particular are widespread as effective public security forces are seriously lacking. Those living in the borders of Meghalaya live in fear and are vulnerable to the many perils that plague the unfenced lands; however, the problem is utterly neglected by authorities. Why is the NPP-led government not paying heed to the plight of border residents? The shock of seeing all these human skeletal remains, literally on our doorstep, should prompt policymakers to do some soul-searching about the problem and not sweep the issue under the carpet like they have been doing all these years.

The magnitude of this issue demands immediate action. The state as well as the central government should take all necessary measures to ensure that lives and human dignity, which lie at the core of human rights, are respected. The time has come to put an end to border violence and killings. It is also time to uphold the human rights of those who are missing, the dignity of those who are presumed dead, and the rights of their families who deserve to find closure.

Disclosures like these are imperative and would have never been possible without hackers, as such type of data has always been kept hidden from the public eye. Let’s face it; the RTI is just not enough. When existing channels of acquiring information fail, it is often through hacking and stealing that democratic accountability can be ensured. In an attempt to balance the democratic need for transparency against existential threats to security, hacktivism should become the new standard for accountability. Regardless of one’s view on the matter, the fact remains that hackers have the potential to bring significant changes in a world increasingly reliant on technology.

As Meghalaya moves closer and closer towards digitalization, hackers are figures that embody both peril and promise. If technology is to revolutionize democratic practice here in the state, Meghalayans must begin to use it in revolutionary ways and seriously consider digital disobedience as the new civil disobedience.

(The author is a private teacher and skill trainer) 

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