The Google’s episode regarding China’s censorship shows the growing hunger of various nations for Internet censorship and e-surveillance. India is no different from China when it comes to “Internet Censorship” and “E-Surveillance”, though the extent and degree may be somewhat lesser. The Information Technology Act 2000 (IT Act 2000) is the sole cyber law of India that was amended by the Information Technology Act 2008 (IT Act 2008). From here starts the real problem.
According to Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law and the leading Techno-Legal Expert of India, “The IT Act 2008 made India a “Safe Heaven” for cyber criminals on the one hand and an “Endemic E-Surveillance Society” and “Internet Censorship State” on the other hand. It seems the main aim of the proposed IT Act 2008 was to strengthen the “Internet Censorship” and “E-Surveillance Capabilities” of India.
With the passage of IT Act 2008 India has now officially become an endemic e-surveillance society. The amendments have provided unregulated, unconstitutional and arbitrary e-surveillance and Internet censorship powers to Government of India and its agencies and instrumentalities, says Praveen Dalal. The fact is that India has become an E-Police State, states the ICT Trends of India 2009.
Surprisingly, Minister of State for Communication Sachin Pilot believes that Indian cyber law is strong enough to meet the challenges posed by technology-assisted terrorism and cyber-terrorism. It seems he has not gone through the present IT Act 2000 after its 2008 amendments.
Some observers in India have rejoiced the exit of Google from China believing that it may be a good opportunity for India. However, they fail to understand the “ground reality” that India is no different from China when it comes to Internet Censorship and E-Surveillance. If India does not abdicate its alliance to Internet censorship and e-surveillance similar incidence may happen in India as well.