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Millennium Post

Modi needs to fix UPA’s emoticons

The import of the term ‘full circle’ is probably felt more fully and more often in national politics than it is in any other part of human interaction. So it is only natural that the current NDA government would react strongly to the reports that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was subjected to extensive snooping carried out by US National Security Agency (NSA) during 2010, when the union government happened to be of Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance. Not only did NSA execute extensive surveillance of all the ministries and government offices, it also snooped on prominent leaders, businessmen, activists and basically everyone with remote diplomatic connections. That the UPA regime never resisted, and in fact, actively connived with Washington, and helped them set up surveillance systems across the board, is obvious, given the umpteen defences proffered by the external affairs ministry under Salman Khurshid. Millennium Post was among very few newspapers that had spoken out aloud about NSA actively and extensively spying on Indian diplomatic offices, both within and outside our national sovereign territory. What we had encountered roughly one year back was a stony silence on the part of other print powerhouses and broadcast news media, which were reluctant to question the former UPA regime on this highly sensitive national security subject as well as on the issue of individual privacy, which was in tatters as far as India was concerned.

        When read in conjunction with the constant stream of reports on how Facebook has conducted emotion experiments with its users worldwide and how it has colluded with the US government as well as NSA in collecting and storing sensitive data without our knowledge, the scenario becomes clearer. Giant multinational corporations, mostly American, along with the US government, have been compromising privacy and security settings of everyone in this planet to make private profits and engineer unrest by tweaking information at will. That we have entered a digital Cold War era of constant cyber espionage isn’t exactly the news point here: but the fact that our previous union government had supinely allowed our territory to be a petri dish of this planetary experiment with gross invasion of privacy and massive breach of individual, public and international diplomatic ethics. It was characteristic of the Congress-led UPA to be subservient to any uncalled for demand from the Americans, whether in the case of civil nuclear liability bill or in allowing mass bugging of diplomatic circuits and ferrying out sensitive trade and political secrets without batting an eyelid. Hopefully, under a Modi-fied regime, we wouldn’t suffer such staggering disgrace and would give more credit to individual dignity and national security, both digital and territorial.            
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