The programmer had found the IP address from which the code originated belonged to Airtel but he  was later slapped by a notice by Flash Networks for publishing proprietary code on Github.

“In order to highlight the malicious manner in which this code had been inserted unlawfully into his website, and to educate and inform the general public about it, he proceeded to publish his findings including all the screenshots on GitHub,” Thejesh's lawyer replied to the Israeli firm after receiving a legal notice.

This is a common practice for anyone involved with scholarly research on breach of security issues on the internet, and it is generally understood that one solicits advice, further research, corroboration and refutation by publishing the research and asking for comments or amendments,” the laywer said.

“The unlawful insertion of code by your client into my clients source code amounts to a violation of the rights of my client, including but not limited to a violation of his privacy, an attempt to unlawfully access and hinder the operation of his website and a violation of the right to integrity of the work of my client,” he said.

“Rather than accepting the legal and moral responsibility for inserting malicious code that compromises the security and privacy of consumers, your client has attempted to use a ‘cease and desist notice’ to intimidate and silence my client and prevent an open discussion on an issue of immense public interest,” he replied.

Bharti Airtel was under fire on the social media for allegedly compromising the customers' privacy and was accused of spying on its 3G subscribers.

The company, however, had refused the claim of spying by saying that the company has zero tolerance with regard to the confidentiality of customer data.