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No Privacy In India - Arthashastra

                          THE  POLICE  STATE

Who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ...
No Privacy In India - Arthashastra
No Privacy In India - Arthashastra


As in the world, the person required basic 4 necessities which are "Food, Cloth, House and Privacy", and if whichever of the above is seized then living life is like living in the hell.

After reading the recent Declaration by Ministry of Home Affairs about authorising 10 Central agencies to interpret online communications of individuals and peek into their Personal Computers and if the individual fails to assist with Technical Assistant can face 7 years of imprisonment or fine, Centre backed its act by citing section 69 of  Information Technology Act's 2000 , In which section 69 getting placed after the Information Technology Act ( amendment) 2009. 

The section 69 of the Information Technology Act 2000 says that -:

[ 69 Power to issue directions for interception or monitoring or decryption of any information through any computer resource. -
(1) Where the Central Government or a State Government or any of its officers specially authorised by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, in this behalf may, if satisfied that it is necessary or expedient to do in the interest of the sovereignty or integrity of India, defense of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States or public order or for preventing incitement to the commission of any cognizable offence relating to above or for investigation of any offence, it may, subject to the provisions of sub-section (2), for reasons to be recorded in writing, by order, direct any agency of the appropriate Government to intercept, monitor or decrypt or cause to be intercepted or monitored or decrypted any information generated, transmitted, received or stored in any computer resource.
(2) The procedure and safeguards subject to which such interception or monitoring or decryption may be carried out shall be such as may be prescribed.
(3 ) The subscriber or intermediary or any person in charge of the computer resource shall when called upon by any agency referred to in sub-section (1), extend all facilities and technical assistance to-
(a) provide access to or secure access to the computer resource generating, transmitting, receiving or storing such information; or
(b) intercept, monitor, or decrypt the information, as the case may be; or
(c) provide information stored in a computer resource.
(4) The subscriber or intermediary or any person who fails to assist the agency referred to in sub-section (3) shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine.]

After reading this section of the Information Technology Act 2000 we came to the conclusion that the Centre or State Government own or can authorize some authority to peak into our computer.

This section of the Information Technology Act is inspired by the Telegraph Act of 1885 which allows phone Tapping.

The Government of India doesn't pose any legal intervention because Ministry of Electronic and IT is considering the Justice B.N Shrikrishna Draft that does not pose any legal intervention on Surveillance.

What are the Problems with this Declaration-:

  • Beaurocratised - Which means Decisions about surveillance are taken by the executive branch without parliamentary or judiciary provisions which mean a person would never be able to know that he is being tracked.
  • Vague & Ambiguous - This is vague because under section 69 of the Information Technology Act the ground of survillence is lifted from Article 19(2) of the constitution because it includes very wide phrases like National Security etc.
  • Opaque - It's opaque because as such till now their is no basic of survillence.
  • Supreme court Judgement - According to recent SC judgement in K.S. Puttaswamy v/s Union of India case SC declares that privacy is the basic structure of the Constitution. In this judgement SC said that "Survillence does not show direct discernible harm as such but rather impose an oppressive psycological reformism that threatens the very existence of Individuals Freedom."
  • Broadly Worded - As section 69 of Information Technology Act 2000 involves such Terms with wide domain .
  • Aftect Free Speach - This would affect free speech because if the individual got to know about that they are being tracked than it would Hamper their Fundamental Right of Feee Speech. 
  • No law - Their are no acts  or law governing Survillence directly.

Rule Regarding Surveillance in the USA?
President has the power to grant Surveillance on any foreign power or any person who is an agent of a foreign power the president can grant these without the court order.

Rule Regarding Surveillance in the UK?
Regulation of Investigatory power Act, 2000 governs the provision of Surveillance.

I believe that Surveillance is necessary but there should be Tradeoff between Privacy and Security. As Surveillance is necessary and the debate should be on how when which type of Surveillance is implemented.



If you want to add something please comment below your comments would be appreciated


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