We may be paranoid about the government watching us closely here in the States and elsewhere in the world, but we certainly don’t have it as bad as India. A brand new monitoring system launched in India that will allow government officials to keep an eye on public network channels. More specifically, tax collectors, law enforcement and additional government agencies will be able to monitor phone calls, text messages, emails, social networking platforms and web activity. It’s called the Central Monitoring System, and needless to say it sounds pretty ominous.
It’s no wonder that internet privacy and freedom advocates are up in arms about the new system. They believe that this new system will be abused, thus it’s more likely it will put ordinary citizens in danger. One thing in particular I can think of, especially in light of current events, what if the system is hacked by an outside source or party?
Pranesh Prakash, the director of policy at the Centre for Internet and Society feels that the adoption of this new monitoring system is very disconcerting.
“In the absence of a strong privacy law that promotes transparency about surveillance and thus allows us to judge the utility of the surveillance, this kind of development is very worrisome. Further, this has been done with neither public norparliamentary dialogue, making the government unaccountable to its citizens.”
Since the Mumbai bombings in 2008, the Indian government has been hard at work implementing technology that would allow agencies to monitor and eavesdrop on traffic from the telecom industry.
Pavan Duggal, a Supreme Court advocate specializing in Cyberlaw, says that the government has overstepped its boundaries and has become comfortable with too much power.
“This system is capable of tremendous abuse.”
It’s capable of tremendous abuse, indeed. How would you feel if our own government blatantly adopted such a system? Do you believe that the Indian government will overstep its boundaries?
FYI: The featured image above is the MCP from Tron, hopefully you get the reference.
[via Times of India]