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India: The State of Surveillance | Kaustubh Srikanth

4 January 2014

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India: The Database Nation, a.k.a The State of Surveillance

23rd of December 2008 was a sad day in India for civil liberties. On this day, The Indian Parliament passed the “The Information Technology (Amendment) Act” with no debate in the House, which effectively means is that the government of India now has the power to monitor all digital communications in the country without a court order or a warrant. The “world’s largest democracy” strongly leaning towards becoming a surveillance state raises many questions and poses severe challenges for free speech and economic justice in India and globally. This talk will map and review the current political, socio-cultural and legal landscape of mass-surveillance, data protection and censorship in India and analyse how it ties in to the global landscape of surveillance and censorship. It will also aim to create a discussion space to investigate the deeper effects of these so called “welfare” projects and how citizen-led movements can drive the state towards stronger data protection and privacy laws.