We are living in unfortunate times where the only way to enforce your rights is to actually exert them at the peril of your life, liberty and property. We did not reach this situation in a single day but govts around the world are eliminating civil liberties and human rights piece by piece for many years.
Whether it is the pretended classical excuse of national security or the coming into existence of a totalitarian govt, rights in India are under constant attack and have been reduced to theoretical concepts. Constitution of India has lost its relevance and significance as almost all constitutional authorities have been compromised beyond repair.
Philip R. “Phil” Zimmermann Jr. (born February 12, 1954) disclosed his rationale for creating PGP by telling that using PGP is good for preserving democracy. He believes that if privacy is outlawed, only outlaws will have privacy. This is so true not only in the context of America but also India.
In the year 2010, Praveen Dalal cautioned:
¨India is passing through the worst era of police state and e-surveillance society. Even worst is the reliance upon American models that have failed in America itself. But Home Minister P.Chidambaram is not discouraged by these failures and he would stop only on the failure of these models in India.
Even the Department of Information Technology (DIT) and Department of Telecommunications (DOT) have joined this blind and ignorant race and are trying to ban telecommunication services like Blackberry and Skype and Internet services like Gmail. These departments are troubled by the strong and secure encryption technology and other similar technologies that prevent unlawful and illegal e-surveillance by the government and its agencies. Criminals and terrorists are already using these, and much better options, and these ignorant actions would only trouble and violate the civil liberties of law abiding citizens alone.
All the limits in this regard were crossed when the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008 (IT Act 2008) was made an enforceable law in India. The IT Act 2008 provides unregulated, unconstitutional and illegal e-surveillance, Internet censorship and website blocking powers in the hands of Indian government and its agencies. There is no mechanism at all that can prevent the abuses of these powers and there is no accountability as well.
A time has come in India when Human Rights in Cyberspace are clearly outlawed and only outlaws (as per the norms and standards of Indian government) would have these Human Rights. This is the main reason why I dedicated a resource titled Human Rights Protection in Cyberspace (HRPIC) to those law abiding citizens who cherish and wish to protect their civil liberties in cyberspace.
With further illegal and unconstitutional projects like CCTNS, NATGRID, UID Project/Aadhaar Project, etc things are only going to be worst in India. The only option remains is to use self defence against the persons, institutions and agencies that are engaging in illegal and unconstitutional e-surveillance and civil liberty violations.¨
After 12 years of this warning, the fears expressed there have come true. Modi govt has gone far ahead of its Congress counterpart. Constitutional offices in India have become mockery and there is nil accountability of bureaucrats and politicians. You can either live as an individual without rights or you can become an outlaw as per govt´s opinion and enjoy your rights. The choice, as always, is yours says Visionary Praveen Dalal.