by Lady Michelle-Jennifer Santos, Chief Visionary Founder & Owner
June 19, 2013 (TSR) – A Public Interests Litigation (PIL) filed against the issue of the US National Security Agency monitoring internet data of India reached the Supreme Court on Tuesday to initiate action against internet companies for sharing information with foreign authority in breach of contract and violation of right to privacy.
The PIL, filed by a former Dean of Law Faculty of Delhi University Professor S N Singh, alleged such large scale spying by the USA authorities is detrimental to national security and urged the apex court to intervene in the matter.
As per reports, US-based nine internet companies, operating in India through agreements signed with Indian users, shared 6.3 billion information/data with National Security Agency of USA without express consent of the Indian users, PTI reported. Such large scale spying by the USA authorities besides being against the privacy norms is also detrimental to national security, the petition, filed through advocate Virag Gupta, said.
Singh said it is a breach of national security as government’s official communication has come under the US surveillance as the services of private internet companies are being used by them and he also referred that after the Mumbai terror attack the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement from a Hotmail address of Microsoft Corp.
“Petition filed in Public Interest seeking a direction to Centre to take urgent steps to safeguard the government’s sensitive internet communications which is ‘Record’ as per provisions of Public Records Act and it’s secrecy to be maintained as per Official Secrets Act but same is being kept outside India in US servers, which is unlawfully intruded by USA Intelligence Agencies through US-based internet companies under secret surveillance program called PRISM,” he said.
He submitted the government and its officials be restrained from using US-based internet companies for official communication and all such companies, which are doing business in India, must establish their servers here so that they can be regulated as per Indian Laws.
Singh referred the report of James R Clapper, Director of National Intelligence of USA who has confirmed surveillance and acquisition of intelligence information of non-US citizens located outside the US as per the provisions of Section 702 of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
“Government communication through private internet companies leading to massive amount of proliferation and leakage of secret documents causing serious threat to security of the country. Sovereignty of nation is at stake because no penal action is being taken by the respondent against the culprit internet companies.
“Such failure in providing safety and privacy to the valued data of Indians shows the collapse of the rule of law which is the basic foundation of a democracy and the Constitution of India,” the petitioner said.