SAY NO TO SOCIAL MEDIA HUB – NO TO SURVEILLANCE STATE

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With less than a year left for the general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government hopes to deploy a “social media analytical tool” that will create digital profiles of citizens to monitor their activities, especially that opposes their policies.

The tool, according to the specifications of the bid document, should have the capacity to monitor a range of digital platforms: WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and blogs and able to read E-mails even.

Every social media profile in India could soon have a new follower: THE GOVERNMENT. In a massive step with deep ramifications, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting planning to launch Social Media Hub - a tool that will track tweets, posts and content shared from anywhere in India. Once live, the system could rival the capabilities of surveillance programmes like China's censorship platform or the American National Security Agency's infamous snooping tool called PRISM.

The government's move comes in the middle of a fierce global debate about data privacy sparked by the Cambridge Analytica scandal that rocked Facebook this year, revealing how personal information was used to influence political campaigns without the consent of users.

It is clear violation of user’s privacy. It is against the Universal Declaration of Human Rights act of United Nations for freedom of expression.  Online freedom is a 'human right' that must be protected, says UN.

Indians are at risk of serious human rights violations.

On Friday 13, July 2018, the Supreme Court of India expressed its alarm over a government proposal to tap into the social media chatter of create a 360-degree profile as this would make India a “surveillance state.”

The proposed process will be done both electronically and manually, by a team of 716 social media executives to be stationed in every district. “Daily analysis report incorporating local sentiment” would be sent on to higher-ups in the command structure. The private party, the PIL alleged, was also required to have the capability of “deleting access logs and removing any audit trail”.

This campaign aims to create awareness of the fundamental Right to Privacy and to provide a language for its articulation in India. We advocate for a legal framework in which the user is placed at the center of ownership and control over their own data. In principle we support limiting government access to personal data and protecting encryption.

Be a champion of Human Rights, ask your friends and family to Vote for this campaign to protect the Freedom of Expression.



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