Civil Liberties In India And Technological Revolution

India has been resisting technological
revolution
for long. Whether it is draconian
information technology amendment act 2008
or Internet
censorship
activities or e-surveillance
obsession or curbing of use of video
conferencing
, Indian is leaving no occasion to
curb
technology.
Civil
liberties in cyberspace in India
are in grave
danger as
India is more and more anxious
to control
information and communication
technology (ICT).
In fact, techno legal experts like Praveen Dalal, managing partner of
ICT law firm Perry4Law,
have openly suggested repealing
of the information technology act, 2000 (IT Act 2000).
The IT Act 2000 is the sole cyber law
of India that
has become an instrumentality of oppression, censorship and
surveillance. For instance, the recent Internet
intermediary guidelines
issued by Indian
government are
considered so offensive by all concerned that a motion
to annul the same
is currently pending before
the
Parliament of India.
However, even if the Internet
intermediary
guidelines are annulled, the draconian IT Act 2000 would keep on
haunting Indian stakeholders. Internet intermediary were recently
asked to pre
screen contents
before posting. Members of
Association for
Progressive Communications (APC) can themselves analyse the vagueness
and absurdity of any such demand.
Now Indian government may ask Google,
Facebook, etc
to establish
servers in India
so that their activities can be
watched
and controlled. Add to this the lawless and non accountable projects
like Aadhar,
central
monitoring system project of India
, national
cyber coordination centre (NCCC) of India
, etc
and you
would get a picture of Indian endemic e-surveillance intentions.
Fortunately, Indians have been fighting
for human
rights protection in Indian cyberspace
. Even
awareness
about human rights protection in cyberspace is spreading at national
and international level. However, the call is for the United Nation
(UN) to take. Till now UN
is very slow
in adopting and recognising human
rights in
cyberspace.
No matter howsoever oppressive a regime may be technology
would
find
ways
to defeat the same. With some additional
safeguards
, anonymity and speech and expression
can be
further safeguarded.
Indian government must realise that
technology is
not an enemy but a friend and hostile intentions would not help
Indian government anymore. The sooner it is realised the better it
would be for the larger benefits of India.
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