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Online monitoring

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It is the misuse of online platforms to incite violence and terrorism that have caused law-enforcment authorities to act against those responsible and hiding deeper in a ‘maze of digital thickets’. The job of digital surveillance is indeed delicate. As a double-edged weapon that lies between ensuring individual privacy and enabling national security, the proposed rules have to be monitored by competent authorities lest it may lead to the other extreme — of a police raj (Editorial, “Snooping or saving”, December 28).

B. Gurumurthy,

Madurai

India is by no means a police state as the freedom of expression has not been curbed and contrarian views, though not welcome, are still tolerated (OpEd page, ‘Yes, No, It’s Complicated’ – “Are India’s laws on surveillance a threat?” December 28). However, there are doubts about the new surveillance policy. The Narendra Modi government, right from the time it assumed office, has been averse to criticism. The surveillance machinery could well swing into action to muzzle both individuals and the media. If the objective of the surveillance is national security and national interest, it is laudable. But where it only has a limited purpose of curbing criticism of the establishment, it only reveals that the government has an Achilles heel somewhere and plenty to hide as well.

C.V. Aravind,

Bengaluru

In a world where the word s “intelligence agencies” are acquiring importance, it does become imperative to do ‘targeted’ snooping. If not, how would the NIA have foiled a plot in western U.P. recently? Should India also have its own versions of search engines and social networking sites? It would end up making the Indian state more powerful, but this is not the solution. I think the government needs to make an all-out effort to clear the entrenched perception that we all are potential targets for surveillance. People need to understand and appreciate that some bit of privacy is lost when it comes to ensuring sovereignty and security.

Niraj Kumar,

New Delhi

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 4:11:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/online-monitoring/article25853890.ece

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