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About Amit Varma

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.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

The Road to Redemption

Never, ever tell me that chess is a boring sport. On the last day of March in 2015, two players…

Assembly Proceedings

This is the 28th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

The Baptist, the Bootlegger and the Dead Man Walking

This is the 35th installment of Lighthouse, my monthly column for BLink, a supplement of the Hindu Business Line. Appearances…

The Seen and the Unseen 5: This Is All Because Of Rupal Ben

This is the fifth episode of my weekly podcast, The Seen and the Unseen. [embedded podcast] A few years ago,…

The Landscape of Freedom in India

Here’s the video and transcript of a keynote speech I gave at the Asia Liberty Forum on January 11, 2017…

30 August, 2007

Big Brother Is Reading Your Email?

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.)

Posted by Amit Varma in Freedom | India

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