Posted by: Pritesh N Munjal | April 27, 2010

E-Surveillance In India Is Becoming Endemic

E-surveillance has been on priority list of India for the past many years. So much so that even special initiatives to protect human rights in cyberspace have been initiated in India. Surveillance has been practiced in India for many decades now.

The police and intelligence agencies have been tapping telephone conversations and analysing e-mails in India for long. Interestingly, neither law enforcement nor intelligence agencies in India are practically governed by any law. Till now India is relying upon colonial laws to justify the unreasonable and unconstitutional acts of law enforcement and intelligence agencies in India.

Law enforcement and intelligence agencies bargained excessive and unconstitutional e-surveillance and internet censorship powers for themselves through amendments in the cyber law of India. The information technology act 2000 (IT Act 2000) was amended in 2008 through information technology act 2008 (IT Act 2008) and since then there is no limit to the e-surveillance capabilities of India.

The recent allegations of phone tapping of the conversation between Sharad Pawar and IPL’s former chief Lalit Modi has once again put forward the dangers of surveillance and e-surveillance in India. The fact is that India has become an endemic e-surveillance society and to facilitate the same the IT Act 2008 amendments were deliberately introduced.

It is high time for the constitutional courts of India like High Courts and Supreme Court of India to interfere to protect civil liberties of Indians. Further, the Parliament of India must also formulate suitable safeguards to protect the civil liberties of Indians by making effective laws to curb surveillance and e-surveillance.



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