Sunday, February 13, 2011

Supreme Court Irked At Pathetic Privacy In India

Finally, the Supreme Court of India took a serious note of the growing and blatant incidences of privacy violation in India by Indian government and private individuals/companies supported by it.

Supreme Court went upto the extent of saying that no person living in India is safe from privacy violations and omnipresent forgeries prevalent in India. The observation came while hearing a petition filed by politician Amar Singh regarding illegal phone taping of his communications.

The telecom company in question is Reliance Communications that is now claiming to have acted on the basis of a forged letter claiming to have authorised phone tapping of Amar Singh. Reacting sharply the Supreme Court asked the Centre why the licence of the service provider was not cancelled for such a casual approach.

This case is just tip of the iceberg as we have no lawful interception law in India. Phone tapping in India is done in an illegal and unconstitutional manner. There is no provision for judicial oversight of executive orders authorising phone tapping.

The most fatal blow came from the information technology amendment act 2008 that amended the sole cyber law of India. Through this amendment India has become an endemic e-surveillance society. There are no procedural safeguards against the orwellian powers that Indian government acquired for itself through this amendment.

The present practice of Indian government regarding phone tapping, e-surveillance and e-interceptions is far from being legal and constitutional. India urgently needs a constitutionally sound lawful interception law. Let us hope the Supreme Court would bring some order in the otherwise chaosed banana republic of India.