UPA Govt’s Elephant teeth: Censorship on Internet as PRISM

UPA Govt’s Elephant teeth: Censorship on Internet as PRISM

 

Amid fresh controversy following reports of the U.S.’s Prism programme targeting the Brazilian President, and the impending launch of the Indian government’s own Central Monitoring System (CMS) project, an investigation by The Hindu reveals that the Internet activities of India’s roughly 160 million users are already being subjected to wide-ranging surveillance and monitoring, much of which is in violation of the government’s own rules and notifications for ensuring “privacy of communications”.

 

While the CMS is in early stages of launch, investigation shows that there already exists — without much public knowledge — Lawful Intercept and Monitoring (LIM) systems, which have been deployed by the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) for monitoring Internet traffic, emails, web-browsing, Skype and any other Internet activity of Indian users……Link

 

Project documents relating to the new Centralized Monitoring System (CMS) reveal the government’s lethal and all-encompassing surveillance capabilities, which, without the assurance of a matching legal and procedural framework to protect privacy, threaten to be as intrusive as the U.S. government’s controversial PRISM project.

 

These capabilities are being built even as a debate rages on the extent to which the privacy of Indian Internet and social media users was compromised by the PRISM project. A PIL petition on the subject has already been admitted by the Supreme Court.

 

The documents in the possession of The Hindu indicate that the CMS project now has a budgeted commitment nearly double that of the Rs. 400-crore estimate that senior officials mentioned in a recent briefing to the media. Once implemented, the CMS will enhance the government’s surveillance and interception capabilities far beyond ‘meta-data,’ data mining, and the original expectation of “instant” and secure interception of phone conversations………link

 

PRISM (surveillance program)

PRISM is a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program known to have been operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) since 2007.[1][2][3] PRISM is a government code name for a data-collection effort known officially by the SIGAD US-984XN.

 

PRISM began in 2007 in the wake of the passage of the Protect America Act under the Bush Administration.[9][10] The program is operated under the supervision of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court, or FISC) pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

 

 

U.S. government officials have disputed some aspects of the Guardian and Washington Post stories and have defended the program by asserting it cannot be used on domestic targets without a warrant, that it has helped to prevent acts of terrorism, and that it receives independent oversight from the federal government’s executive, judicial and legislative branches. On June 19, 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama, during a visit to Germany, stated that the NSA’s data gathering practices constitute “a circumscribed, narrow system directed at us being able to protect our people.

*

Internet Censorship

In fact internet censorship is unconstitutional, no matter how you world it. The recently published Freedom on the Net 2012: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media report by Freedom House, an independent watchdog organisation, highlighted the increasing trend of censoring the web across the world. Out of the 47 countries it surveyed, it discovered that as many as 19 countries have since 2011 adopted policies to censor the web, which effectively hampers online speech. While it found Estonia with the greatest degree of Internet freedom, countries like Iran, Cuba and China were found to be on the other extreme.Governments of many countries are playing the Orwellian script by introducing draconian laws to censor the web.

 

For details Orwellian script details click here: Chapter 20 of book: Silent Assassins, Jan 11, 1966


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