Tuesday, January 3, 2012

India Is Anxious To Control Information Technology

This is the updated version of my previous article titled India is desperate to control technology. It has been censored by Google through manual action penalty so it requires reposting for the larger interests of viewers and netizens.

This post has also been censored by Digital Journal where it was originally posted through the infamous trump card of spam communication used by Internet intermediaries and online community.

Of late, spam communications has been used as a fa├žade to violate speech and expression right. It is high time to ensure civil liberties protection in cyberspace as merely saying that Internet access is a human right by United Nations is not going to serve any purpose. If posts are censored by Google after posting, freedom of speech and expression is definitely violated and so are human rights in cyberspace.

Adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) by Indian government seems to be a herculean task. Naturally, if India cannot understand the technology, it would prefer to block the same as whatever we do not understand we fear of the same.

This holds true for India. Instead of befriending technology, Indian government is considering the same its enemy. From Internet censorship to e-surveillance, Indian government has not left any stone unturned.

India has been struggling to deal with technological issues for long. Unable to deal with the same in a constitutional manner, India adopted measures that are detrimental for the growth of the same. These measures can only increase e-corruption and they are detrimental to the interest of India in the long run.

The worst affected area seems to be the cyber law of India incorporated in the information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000). Cyber law for social media in India is draconian in nature that forces social media websites and Internet intermediaries in India to follow Indian government’s directions.

Recently, Internet intermediaries in India were asked to pre screen contents of users. Companies like Google opposed such move of Indian government. However, this does not stopped Internet censorship in India, e-surveillance in India, etc. Further, even incidences of manual action and censorship and blocking of accounts were witnessed regarding companies like Google and Facebook. In an interesting development Yahoo took Indian government to court over e-surveillance.

It seems human rights in cyberspace need to be strengthened and protected. United Nations needs to step in to prevent encroachment upon civil liberties in cyberspace. Protection of human rights in Indian cyberspace also needs to be taken seriously by Indian government. European Council has already expressed its concerns for cyber attacks and political pressures upon cyber dissidents. It is working in the direction of protecting privacy rights and free speech in cyberspace.

The recent cyber law trends in India and cyber security trends in India are pointing towards reformation of Indian cyber law. Further, even a constitutional phone tapping law in India is urgently required. The year 2011 was a bad year for legislative reforms in India and I hope the year 2012 would not be same.