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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.