Monthly Archives: February 2015

Digital Panopticon Of India And The Submissive Parliament And Judiciary

Digital Panopticon Of India And The Submissive Parliament And JudiciaryDigital India is a project that is of tremendous significance if implemented properly. However, due to its shortcomings, Digital India may become the most controversial project of India till now. The worst part about Digital India project is that it has become the Digital Panopticon of India that also without any parliamentary oversight and judicial review.

In fact, Digital India is being implemented in actual contempt of Supreme Court that has directed (PDF) that Aadhaar cannot be made compulsory for government services. Indian government has informed the Supreme Court that Aadhaar is not compulsory for government services but the truth is that Aadhaar has been made compulsory for almost all the digital and non digital services of Indian government.

So bad is the situation that Twitter is censoring dissenting tweets regarding Aadhaar as well. Aadhaar is a subject that is heavily censored in India and any sort of dissent is immediately censored by platforms like twitter.

However, Supreme Court itself is responsible for this situation as it failed to declare the e-surveillance project Aadhaar as unconstitutional.  Both Parliament of India and Indian Supreme Court have failed to fulfil their constitutional duties to protect the Fundamental Rights and Human Rights of Indian Citizens in this regard.

As a result unconstitutional and illegal biometrics collection is happening in India without any sort of control and reasonableness. Digital India has become the Digital Panopticon of India because our parliament and Judiciary has not done what the constitution fathers have mandated them to do.

Aadhaar Project Is A Heavily Censored Subject In India

Aadhaar Project Is A Heavily Censored Subject In IndiaThere are very few areas where Congress and BJP Governments can act alike. Aadhaar project is one such area where both Congress and BJP have acted and reacted similarly. Neither Congress nor BJP has paid any heed to civil liberties protection in cyberspace. Both Congress and BJP have made and used Aadhaar as an e-surveillance tool meant for social exploitation. Both Congress and BJP have been instrumental in getting tweets and other public contents regarding Aadhaar censored and removed from Twitter and other websites, including Google search and news results. This is the reason why a dedicated platform was launched by us to keep a tab upon various forms of censorship activities by technology companies and social media websites in India.

The most commonly censored fields in India include intelligence agencies related subjects, Aadhaar project, NCTC, news, etc. However, Aadhaar related topics have been consistently censored by almost all companies in India. The latest in this series is the censorship of Aadhaar related tweets at Twitter. We also suspect that tweets pertaining to Digital India are also censored by Twitter to give a positive look to the initiative while removing all the negative reviews and views about the same. We are investigating into this aspect as well.

Twitter is a micro blogging platform that must respect views from both sides. Merely because a view is critical is no ground to censor or demote the same. Twitter needs to maintain a “neutral” point of view instead of obliging the Indian Government.

Aadhaar has been portrayed as a panacea to all troubles in India but in reality it is an endemic e-surveillance tool in the hands of Indian Government that must be immediately declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court of India. Both Central Government and States are making Aadhaar compulsory by direct and indirect means. But before the Supreme Court, Central Government has maintained that Aadhaar is not mandatory that statement is apparently misleading and false.

If voices of dissent are suppressed in the manner Twitter and other companies are doing, then what is the purpose of running such websites and social media platforms? We are further analysing this situation and would come up with more detailed report, if required.