Of late, snooping, a recent technological phenomenon imbibed from the slippery world of politics, has gained notoriety. Once latent in its function in espionage, where it helped ensure the strong internal security system of a country, it has now assumed global importance ignominiously, almost becoming a threat to peaceful life. The article “Surveillance and its privacy pitfalls” (Nov. 22) delineated the ill-effects of the surveillance system, and helped us to understand the ramifications that arise from the interception of messages, private, public, state, national or international.
The state’s power to snoop is opposed to the spirit of democracy. In many instances, the abuse of this power results in suffering for innocent people. Unwarranted surveillance is an indicator of the lowering of ethical standards in a country. The invasion of privacy is to be condemned and the right of an individual “to be let alone” should, indeed, be respected.
The article misses an important point. Yes, surveillance is a dangerous intrusion into the privacy of an individual. But the more important issue is whether the father and the young woman in Gujarat wanted it, as is made out in this particular case. If yes, can the entire state machinery be used for giving protection to a woman when millions in this country do not even have protection in ATMs, on public roads or in their homes?