Government plans agency to monitor the web NEW DELHI: Faced with recent episodes of misuse of internet in creating unrest, the Centre is planning to set up a dedicated 'cyber surveillance agency' to monitor the web and social media networks for malicious content, having implications on law and order, and forewarn security agencies and state police for taking preventive steps. The idea is to keep a watch on web content which are in the 'public' domain and which may have potential to create law and order problems like what the country witnessed in the wake of the recent Assam violence. "The agency will have an effective monitoring system, comprising duly tasked and technologically empowered cyber monitoring and surveillance agencies, which can report build-up in time and forewarn government of any malicious use of the internet and social media," said an official. Such a central agency will, however, be set up only after putting in place a legal regime to take care of the issue of individuals' privacy and citizens' freedom of speech/expression...... including deterring malicious use of the internet and social media. It was felt that public guidelines and standard operating procedures needed to be set in motion by the government and service providers in such crises, ...... The home ministry was asked to authorize Intelligence Bureau, Defence Research and Development Organization and other agencies to monitor the web and social media services for malicious content. Government plans agency to monitor the web - The Times of India ************************* The million dollar question will be as to what is 'malicious content'. Anti Govt statements or lampooning could be interpreted by Kapil Sibal and Ambika Soni to be 'malicious'. For instance, the Time Magazine and the Economist's articles could also be termed as malicious! So, are we on the way to becoming another China in this respect too?