E-Surveillance Policy Of India Is Needed Opined Visionary Praveen Dalal In 2011

Concept and use of e-surveillance in India is not new and concerns about it were raised even in 2011 by Visionary Praveen Dalal. However, both Congress and BJP are super interested in excessive e-surveillance, spying and civil liberties violation activities and abusing powers in India. The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022 and proposed Indian Telecommunication Act, 2022 have made the intentions of Indian Govt very clear in this regard.

India has no E-Surveillance Policy and Legal Framework. This is despite the fact that many Indian projects are so e-surveillance oriented that they cannot pass the scrutiny of provisions of Indian Constitution. We urgently need an e-surveillance policy of India, opined Visionary Praveen Dalal in 2011.

India has launched projects like Aadhar, National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Central Monitoring System (CMS), Centre for Communication Security Research and Monitoring (CCSRM), etc. Except Aadhaar, none of them is governed by any Legal Framework and none of them is under Parliamentary Scrutiny. Even Aadhaar Act is Unconstitutional and it must be struck down by a 7 Judge Bench of Supreme Court of India.

If this was not enough the sole Cyber Law of India (Information Technology Act 2000) was amended through the Information Technology Amendment Act 2008. The IT Act 2008 made the Cyber Law of India an “unregulated and unaccountable” piece of E-Surveillance Legislation. It is now wide open to misuses by Indian Government and its Agencies. Further, the IT Act 2008 also violated various provisions of Indian Constitution and hence is “Unconstitutional” as well.

Parliament of India has been increasingly abdicating its “Constitutional Duties” of Parliamentary Oversight and Law Making. The way Indian Executive takes decisions on behalf of Indian Parliament is really surprising. Some have validly questioned the very purpose and existence of Parliament of India.

We have been suggesting that E-Surveillance Projects like NATGRID must be suitably regulated and they must comply with Civil Liberties Protection Requirements. The Home Ministry of India did not pay heed to these suggestions and now a stage has reached where NATGRID Project may become redundant. So is the status of NCTC.

India has been imposing Projects like NATGRID and Aaadhar on false pretexts of National Security and Welfare Schemes. However, this is not the truth. As far as Aaadhar Project is concerned, it is an Endemic E-Surveillance Project. Projects like NATGRID must reconcile National Security interests with Protection of Fundamental Rights.

India must formulate an E-Surveillance Policy as soon as possible that is not only constitutional but that must also protect civil liberties of Indians in cyberspace and real life says Visionary Praveen Dalal.

1 thought on “E-Surveillance Policy Of India Is Needed Opined Visionary Praveen Dalal In 2011

  1. Pingback: Cyber Law Due Diligence For VPN Service Providers In India | Conflict Of Laws In Cyberspace

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