Centre plans digital spying, says Congress


The Congress on Friday alleged that the Information and Broadcasting Ministry is setting up a social media communication hub to monitor a “citizen’s digital profile and intimate details”.
Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told presspersons that the Centre had taken out a tender, inviting private parties who can monitor digital chatter on various social media platforms, and planned to spend ?42 crore on setting it up.
“The government is using taxpayers’ money to snoop on taxpayers,” Mr. Singhvi alleged.
“This is a matter of great concern as we have seen in the past four years the tendency of this government to get into your house, the mind and the body.”
Mr. Singhvi, a lawyer, said the Ministry’s move could violate the recent nine-judge judgment of the Supreme Court that made right to privacy a fundamental right. “What are the safeguards that an encrypted conversation is not decrypted? Has there been any kind of public consultation with stake holders, civil society activists,” he asked.
The Congress spokesperson claimed that though the party’s priority is to inform the public of “what could be a violation of a citizen’s privacy,” it would keep all options including the legal recourse open.


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