Centre’s plea of tracking and monitoring social media accounts and posts of the masses was snubbed by the Supreme Court, with CJI Dipak Misra stating that this would make India a ‘surveillance state’. The following order by the apex court comes after a TMC legislator had filed a petition against the Centre’s proposal to set up a ‘Social media Communication Hub’. In the proposal presented by the Centre, it had sought the permission to analyze the digital and social media content at the district level.
The petitioner, TMC legislator Mahua Moitra, was being represented by advocate Singhvi who argued that the proposed move directly violates the right to privacy. He added that if the moves comes into effect it will be invasive of the fundamental rights of the citizen of the country.
Reacting to the arguments, Justice DY Chandrachud said that tracking, regulating the social media content will turn it into a surveillance state.
As per reports, the bench of judges hearing the matter has also sought assistance from Attorney General KK Venugopal.
Later, the bench issued a notice to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and sought a formal reply. The following matter will next be heard on August 3. The following development comes to light after Supreme Court on June 18 had refused to grant urgent hearing in the matter.
The petition was filed after BJP had proposed its idea of deploying social media analytical tool that will track the social media profiles of the citizens of the country.
The government plans to use the following information to target individuals with a propaganda against the government schemes.
The Court said Centre wants to tap WhatsApp messages of people and has sought its response within 2 weeks.