FP Special – Seema Haider’s ‘Love Story’ or ‘Spy Saga’: Four ways ATS, IB can crack, recover her digital data

FP Special - Seema Haider’s ‘Love Story’ or ‘Spy Saga’: Four ways ATS, IB can crack, recover her digital data

As fascinating as Seema Haider’s case is, it also raises many questions given that the ATS and IB are having so many issues in recovering her digital data. Even though they may not have access to her smartphones anymore, there are ways to recover her “lost” data

It is yet to be clear of Seema Haider’s story turns out to be a leaf out of celebrated cross-border love story Ghadar or a fascinating spy-thriller as Indian agencies are trying to crack the case open, looking into the digital and data footprints of the Karachi resident who came to India to be with her Indian lover Sachin of Greater Noida.

The most confounding aspect of it all, however, is the seeming lack of any solid, irrefutable digital data on Seema. Numerous intelligence agencies have been trying to find some verifiable data on Seema that would either corroborate her story or would help Indian agencies build a case against her.

This lack of data stems from the fact that apparently, Seema and Sachin have both destroyed a number of personal devices that they owned and along with that, the SIM cards that were used in those devices, once Seema and her children came to India.
Nevertheless, there are multiple ways using which Indian agencies can still recover Seema Haider’s digital data.

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Through Google
Seema and Sachin, both were using Android devices – this can be corroborated by the fact that both of them met in July while playing PUBG. In order for users to use an Android device in any meaningful way, be it to use social media apps, or to download and play games, they will need a Google account. The ATS will have to locate just one of Seema’s Google accounts, following which, they can instruct Google to share the cache of data that is stored against that account. And yes, Google will have all, if not most of the data that would crack this case wide open.

Through Meta
The most common way to log in to PUBG or any other Android game or app is by allowing the app or service to access your Google account details, or through Meta’s Facebook. If Seema had an Instagram account, Meta would have those details too, as well as any and every DM that has been through the profiles associated with that account. And given that the devices were deleted in India and the devices were destroyed here, Meta, or Google shouldn’t be able to create any issues over Seema being a Pakistani citizen, and therefore out of bound for Meta India and Google India

If Seema has ever used WhatsApp, Indian agencies would have an even bigger cache of data, possibly her messages as well. At the very least, they can find the mobile numbers associated with the devices that were destroyed and go from there.

Through the video-calling platform they were using
In a number of interviews, Seema told reporters that she and Sachin would often show each other how India and Pakistan were, which means they used some video calling app or the other. Even though it is impossible to know what went on in those video calls, we still can find a lot of things out. The timings and duration of the video calls, for example, would corroborate their love story. Furthermore, other details, such who all did Seema speak to over video calls would also go a long way in helping with the investigation.

Through PUBG’s servers
PUBG was banned in India for the first time in September of 2020, whereas Seema and Sachin met on the platform way earlier. Now, although the game was banned years ago, Tencent still has troves of data and data profiles that it had collected back then and has access to it as well. While it may be pointless in asking Tencent to share that data, there are several other channels that Indian agencies can go through, officially and otherwise.

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