Lawful interception of Internet, mobile and other technology related communications is a big challenge for Indian government. Indian government is trying to do the same that can best serve its interests. However, in its zest to ensure technology communication interceptions in India, Indian government is landing up in doing “unlawful interceptions”.
The lawful interception law is needed in India and the same is still missing despite contrary governmental claims. Till now, phone tapping in India is not constitutionally performed. The truth is that big brother in India is violating Indian constitution and even courts are silent on this aspect.
Indian government has been taking many steps that are strengthening its e-surveillance and censorship capabilities without meeting the constitutional requirements. For instance, the central monitoring system project of India, national cyber coordination centre (NCCC) of India, national intelligence grid (Natgrid), national counter terrorism centre (NCTC) of India, Aadhar project of India, etc are all proposed without any legal framework supervising and justifying their functioning.
On the one hand the home ministry is mulling lawful interception law of India and on the other hand it has forced Blackberry messenger service to be an e- surveillance tool in India. Telenor’s security clearance was blocked by home ministry recently and even the FIPB rejected Telenor’s joint venture proposal as pre mature.
Civil liberties in India and technological revolution are considered mutually exhaustive in India. Initiatives like surveillance of Internet traffic in India are executed without any procedural safeguards and constitutional rights. E-surveillance in India is presently done with virtually no legal framework. Whatever rules that have been framed in this regard by Indian government, they are clearly violating the constitutional freedoms and rights.
As a matter of fact, civil liberties protection in cyberspace in India have been totally ignored and false claims of national security are raised to suppress civil liberties in India. ICT policies and strategies of India are grossly defective and clearly violating human rights in cyberspace. In fact, there is a dedicated resource titled websites, blogs and news censorship by Google and Indian government that is making a database of various censorship and results manipulation activities in India.
Indian government must ensure civil liberties protection in Indian cyberspace as that is its constitutional as well as human right obligation. Further, parliamentary oversight of intelligence agencies of India is needed. Till now there is no parliamentary scrutiny of the intelligence agencies in India. The sooner these initiatives would be taken the better it would be for the larger interest of India.