Congress accuses Modi government of trying to snoop on citizens

Abhishek Manu Singhvi

New Delhi, June 2: Congress has accused the Modi government of trying to invade the privacy of people by floating Rs 42-crore tender for setting up of a ‘Social Media Communication Hub’ to snoop and put on surveillance ” the activities of the social media users.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi termed it as the “worst example of using taxpayers’ money to snoop on taxpayers” and said “the BJP government has a “perennial, habitual, repetitive and ingrained tendency… (to) act as big brother and to watch you (public) and to intrude into every aspect of your life and every aspect of your privacy”.

Recently, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has invited bids from private players to create a 24×7 social media communication hub to collect “digital media chatter from all core social media platforms.

The ministry has also invited foreign companies for the bidding to access sensitive citizen’s data on Facebook, Twitter, and email account.

The Congress leader said, “The listed digital channels are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Flickr, Tumblr, Google Play store, Pinterest, emails, news, blogs, forums, complaint websites.”

He said the tender talks of getting a software to try and create a platform which will be deployed in the private data centre to not only listen to the standard digital channels which are listed but to consolidate them and converge them.“There is not a single safeguard against such strong and tall rules and laws which we have in favour of privacy,” he added.

The Congress leader said that in four years “we have seen how exponentially the Modi government has been violating privacy”.The government is using people’s money collected as taxes to snoop on them by floating this tender for listening tools, he claimed.

Singhvi said that several instances like Namo App and Aadhaar data leak had made it quite evident that the Centre is violating the privacy of citizens.



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