Surveillance

Implications of surveillance

• Freedom of speech curtailed – journalists or dissidents who have
criticised the government – targeted.

• Faulty refuge under Statues – Indian Telegraph Act, 1885; section 69 and the
Interception Rules of 2009 under Information Technology (IT) Act, 2000.
 Statutes provide way for surveillance, no protections to the surveilled.
 Even the opaque laws don’t provide for surveillance
 Hacking is a criminal offence under the IT Act.
• Threatens the separation of powers
 Judiciary can effectively over see and curtail such
powers being misused.
 Laws provides no scope for an individual subjected
to surveillance to approach a court of law.

Key Take-away

• Surveillance system impacts the right to privacy under Art. 21 – reiterated in K.S. Puttaswamy (Retd) v.
Union of India (2017) case.

• Impacts exercise of freedom of speech and personal liberty under Art. 19 of the Constitution.

• Mass surveillance – risk of concentration of powers
with the executive.