Monday, May 10, 2010

India Needs Laws To Curb Illegal Surveillance

Colonial laws regarding surveillance are violating civil liberties of Indians, says Praveen Dalal.

India is presently engaging in both legal and illegal e-surveillance activities. Both governmental as well as non-governmental persons and institutions are engaging in electronic communications sniffing. Internet as well as spectrums is vulnerable to illegal eavesdropping and the colonial laws like Indian Telegraph Act are absolutely redundant to remedy the situation.

In the absence of legislative protection, the citizens are well within their right to protect their privacy and property through private defense. The fact is that no time in the history of India the citizens of India are more vulnerable for breaches of their civil liberties. The governmental projects like Aadhar/UID, Natgrid, CCTNS, etc are though of great public interest yet they are also the landmine for civil liberty interests of Indians.

Parliament of India must enact suitable laws in this regard. Till now the Parliament is not willing to regulate the matters pertaining to surveillance and e-surveillance and this is resulting in an increased unrest among civil liberty enthusiastics in India,says Praveen Dalal.

To make the matter worst, the Indian government amended the cyber law of India through information technology amendment act 2008 that provides unlimited, unregulated and unconstitutional e-surveillance powers in the hands of governmental machinery and its agencies. This anarchy has resulted in a situation where now the agencies are not even bothered to ask for permission for surveillance and government cannot do anything except denying such incidences.

It is time for the government of India to wake up and protect the civil liberties of Indians.