PIL filed in Supreme Court on US surveillance of internet data

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by The Messiah, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    PIL filed in Supreme Court on US surveillance of internet data

    NEW DELHI: The issue of the US National Security Agency monitoring internet data of India today reached the Supreme Court with a PIL filed seeking its direction to the Centre to initiate action against internet companies for sharing information with foreign authority in "breach" of contract and violation of right to privacy.

    The PIL, filed by a former Dean of Law Faculty of Delhi University Professor S N Singh :salute:, alleged such largescale spying by the USA authorities is detrimental to national security and urged the apex court to intervene in the matter.

    "As per reports, US-based nine internet companies, operating in India through agreements signed with Indian users, shared 6.3 billion information/data with National Security Agency of USA without express consent of the Indian users. Such largescale spying by the USA authorities besides being against the privacy norms is also detrimental to national security," the petition, filed through advocate Virag Gupta, said.

    Singh submitted it is a breach of national security as government's official communication has come under the US surveillance as the services of private internet companies are being used by them and he also referred that after the Mumbai terror attack the Prime Minister's Office issued a statement from a Hotmail address of Microsoft Corp.

    "Petition filed in Public Interest seeking a direction to Centre to take urgent steps to safeguard the government's sensitive internet communications which is 'Record' as per provisions of Public Records Act and it's secrecy to be maintained as per Official Secrets Act but same is being kept outside India in US servers, which is unlawfully intruded by USA Intelligence Agencies through US-based internet companies under secret surveillance program called PRISM," he said.

    He submitted the government and its officials be restrained from using US-based internet companies for official communication and all such companies, which are doing business in India, must establish their servers here so that they can be regulated as per Indian Laws.

    Singh referred the report of James R Clapper, Director of National Intelligence of USA who has confirmed surveillance and acquisition of intelligence information of non-US citizens located outside the US as per the provisions of Section 702 of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

    "Government communication through private internet companies leading to massive amount of proliferation and leakage of secret documents causing serious threat to security of the country. Sovereignty of nation is at stake because no penal action is being taken by the respondent against the culprit internet companies.

    "Such failure in providing safety and privacy to the valued data of Indians shows the collapse of the rule of law which is the basic foundation of a democracy and the Constitution of India," the petitioner said.
    "Public Records Act 1993 is applicable to central government, public sector undertakings, statutory bodies and corporations and as per provisions, record includes material produced by a computer or by any other device.

    "That as per Section 4 of the Act, no Public Records can be taken out of India without prior permission of the government and for contravention of the same, Sec 9 of the Act provides for punishment of imprisonment for a term of 5 years," the petition said.

    The Centre had earlier on June 11 expressed surprise and concern over the snooping and said it will seek information and details from the US over reports that India was the fifth most tracked country by the American intelligence which used a secret data-mining programme to monitor worldwide internet data.

    PIL filed in Supreme Court on US surveillance of internet data - Economic Times
     
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  3. VIP

    VIP Ultra Nationalist Senior Member

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    Personally I don't consider such acts as threat or breech of privacy until my data is used for political purposes. But we can't guarantee because who's gonna monitor the monitors.So this act must end or some transparency must be there regarding collection of personal datas of wvery citizen. And this mustn't be done in India because we all know how openly our government uses agencies for political purposes. And due to some recent events, I don't wanna go in jail for a tweet or post on fb.
     
  4. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    If the Indian government starts snooping on private data of us citizens, they will certainly use it vengefully, like the Cons are using CBI and other central agencies to victimize their opponents. More important than American snooping, we citizens should guard against our own useless netas indulging in snooping, and make sure it never happens.
     
  5. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Lets keep an eye on this PIL, it will be interesting what happens next.
     
  6. shom

    shom Regular Member

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    Worse, Indian-Style

    That said, Google and Twitter have at least challenged a few of the secretive National Security Letters requiring them to hand over data to the FBI, and have won. Yahoo India has challenged the authority of the Controller of Certifying Authorities, a technical functionary under the IT Act, to ask for user data, and the case is still going on.

    To the best of my knowledge, no Indian web company has ever challenged the government in court over a privacy-related matter. Actually, Indian law is far worse than American law on these matters. In the US, the NSA needed a court order to get the Verizon data. In India, the licences under which telecom companies operate require them to provide this. No need for messy court processes.


    During the recent India-US Homeland Security Dialogue, the US cited domestic laws on privacy and freedom of speech to refuse Indian requests for real-time access to suspicious internet activity routed through US-based internet sites. We should strengthen our domestic laws — getting a good privacy statute, in line with the Justice AP Shah Committee report, would be the first step — and reciprocate.

    The law we currently have — sections 69 and 69B of the Information Technology Act — is far worse than the surveillance law the British imposed on us. Even that lax law has not been followed by our intelligence agencies.
    Recent reports reveal India's secretive National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) — created under an executive order and not accountable to Parliament — often goes beyond its mandate and, in 2006-07, tried to crack into Google and Skype servers, but failed. It succeeded in cracking Rediffmail and Sify servers, and more recently was accused by the Department of Electronics and IT in a report on unauthorised access to government officials' mails.
    While the government argues systems like the Telephone Call Interception System (TCIS), the Central Monitoring System (CMS) and the National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid) will introduce restrictions on misuse of surveillance data, it is a flawed claim. Mass surveillance only increases the size of the haystack, which doesn't help in finding the needle. Targeted surveillance, when necessary and proportional, is required. And no such systems should be introduced without public debate and a legal regime in place for public and parliamentary accountability.

    The government should also encourage the usage of end-to-end encryption, ensuring Indian citizens' data remains safe even if stored on foreign servers. Merely requiring those servers to be located in India will not help, since that information is still accessible to American agencies if it is not encrypted. Also, the currently lax Indian laws will also apply, degrading users' privacy even more.

    Indians need to be aware they have virtually no privacy when communicating online unless they take proactive measures. Free or open-source software and technologies like Open-PGP can make emails secure, Off-The-Record can secure instant messages, TextSecure for SMSes, and Tor can anonymise internet traffic.
    Courtesy:- http://articles.economictimes.india...d-security-dialogue-national-security-letters
    Now surveillance is easy in India than USA.
     
  7. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    I hear there is pil in delhi high court also on the same matter ?
     
  8. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    I didn`t get it whats objective of their PIL filing in supreme court . who are respondent in this case .

    And whatever be verdict US is going to continue on with surveillance of internet data around the world

    At most supreme court would force US to share data with an Indian agency related to intelligence . they would happy to share provided they would get their share of pie in defence contracts
     
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  9. Tolaha

    Tolaha Senior Member Senior Member

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    Letting politicians and judges anywhere pass judgments on "technical" stuff is fraught with risk. Letting Indian politicians and judges decide on anything slightly more technical than a calculator is going to make us a laughing stock. Somebody stop them before they say anything!
     
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  10. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    I had lo look this up.

    Public-interest litigation (India) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    US Constitution has 4th Amendment which applies to this issue. What does Constitution of India have that is analogous?

    Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

     
  11. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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  12. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    here is the verdict

    PIL dismissed

    Can't act against websites for sharing information on Indians with US: SC

    Can't act against websites for sharing information on Indians with US: SC
     
  13. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    i think he should have said, My Lords they can read your mail and mails of your family and your bank account information. Please act now.
     
  14. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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