Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.
The next time you go to a cyber cafe in Mumbai, be warned: the cops can see whatever you’re up to. The Mumbai police plans to install keystroke loggers in the cyber cafes of Mumbai, which essentially means that everything you type will be saved for the police to scrutinize. This includes your email username and password. This includes your credit card details, should you purchase something online. This includes every email you send, every website you visit, the location of every picture you download.If you’re surfing at a Mumbai cyber cafe, you would have effectively surrendered your privacy.
Yes, yes, this is meant to fight terrorism, but even if the Mumbai police had the manpower to scrutinize the vast numbers of keystroke records they will get, this move would make no sense. Terrorists use cars, live in rented flats, make phonecalls to each other. So will our cars, houses and telephone conversations be monitored as well?
In the Mid Day article, an unnamed “National Vice President, People Union for Civil Liberty” is quoted as saying, “As long as personal computers are not being monitored. If monitoring is restricted to public computers, it is in the interest of security. [sic]”
By that logic, the cops might as well install video cameras inside hotel rooms, no?
(Link via message on the Bloggers Collective Google group.)
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