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Create Surveillance State Through a Social Media Hub: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Centre and sought a response within two weeks regarding the fact that it is to set up social media hub to monitor online data and observing it will be like creating a surveillance state. A bench comprising of Chief Justice of India, Dipak Mishra, and Justices: DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar sought Attorney General, KK Venugopal’s assistance in this matter and issued a notice to the Centre on a petition filed by Trinamool Congress legislator, Mahua Moitra.

The bench said that the government wants to tap civilians’ Whatsapp messages and that it will be like creating a surveillance state. Senior advocate, AM Singhvi said that the government has issued a request for an outline and the tender will be opened on August 20, 2018. Singhvi also said that with the help of social media hub ,they want to monitor social media content.

Before the opening of the tender on August 20, the bench listed the matter on August 3, 2018. In the court, the government can be assisted with the attorney general or any law officer.

 

On June 18, Moitra’s urgent hearing plea on the Centre’s move to set up social media communication hub was refused by the Supreme Court.

 

The BJP-led government plans to deploy a social media analytical tool that will create digital profiles of citizens, and supposedly check their opinions about official policies. This has been decided according to a bid document announced in the last month by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

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Abhigyan Mahanta